Online dating for seniors has gained popularity in recent years and more and more seniors and looking online to find their partner now. While online dating is a really good platform to find your ideal match, there are online thieves who are only trying to contact you not for love, but for money.
This report from FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center shows that hundreds of people have lost millions of dollars in online romance scams. While majority of the victims were women who fell for honey coated words, there could be a gender imbalance since women are more likely to report such crimes than men.
Increase in such crimes could be due to the fact that older people are more vulnerable to scams. Since they are more eager to a find a match to avoid being isolated and lonely and have more financial means, scammers know that old people can be easier targets.
People who are in their 60s and above are more easier targets due to cognitive impairment which makes it difficult for them to identify a scam. They think they finally found their ideal match and then they realize they have become a victim.
If you have joined online dating sites for seniors to find your match, then you should look out for red flags to see if the person on the other end is behind your money or your heart. So, how can you be safe from such online scams? Here are some online dating safety tips for seniors to protect yourself.
Check The Grammar
Emails sent by scam artists contain a lot of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors since most of them are not from English speaking countries. They use online language translation services to communicate with you frequently to talk with you. If you find such person who use bad English or find odd words and find them to be suspicious, then stay away from them.
Never Ending Excuses
The goal of online dating is to find a match and meet them in person and build a relationship. If the other person is truly looking for a relationship, then they will have no problem in meeting you. Online scammers find all kind of excuses to avoid meeting you since their aim is not to have any kind of physical contact and they could only scam you through internet.
If a person is constantly traveling, then such person won’t have any interest in finding a romantic partner. Scammers try to use this as an excuse and try to contact you off the site through email or texting to get around any kid of privacy restrictions put up by the dating site.
Express Their Love Quickly
Scammers don’t want to waste much time trying to get to know you and claim to be in love with you during your initial stages of communication. They are also much eager get into a relationship quickly.
While women get scammed by thieves who introduce themselves as older gentlemen, men get easily scammed by thieves who pretend to be young women. They create false identities using fake photos available on the internet. Widowers and divorcees are more vulnerable to such scams.
Asking For Money
The most common tactic that scammers use to loot money from you is by telling that they are in some kind of financial crisis. And this happens right after they express their love for you. They try to convince that you are only person who can help them and repeatedly request you to send them money. If you have unfortunately found such person, then it is time to forget them and move on.
Trust Your Instincts
Even if the people agree to meet you, they may not always have the best intentions. There could be cases where they are not open and transparent and what they tell you may not match up with what they shared with you online. In such cases, always keep an open mind and trust your instincts.
If the other person is saying something that is too good to be true (for example, younger women readily agreeing for a hook up with older men) then use your intuition to realize them and avoid any fraud.
For all the initial conversations, use you cell phone as it is hard to trace your personal information. Using home numbers can let scammers easily figure out your address and other personal information. Do not share you location, personal or workplace details with strangers.
Do Your Research
You can also do a bit of research on your own to find more details about the person. You can download the person’s photo and do a reverse search on Google and check the results to see if the person is real or not. Since scammers download photos from online like modeling sites to create fake identities, you can easily spot them.
Also check if they have a facebook, twitter and other social accounts which will provide more information about them and let you analyze if their details match according to what they have shared with you. People with less number of friends are usually from fake people.
Seniors who want to stay safe in online dating should stay away from all kinds of people who try to be mysterious, at least till you meet them person and get to know them. Keep in mind to always meet your online date in a public place to protect your physical safety. Also let a friend or family member about where you are going and the person you are going to meet.
If you have considered finding a partner through online dating, then make sure that you are ready to start dating. You may be dealing with the end of a long term relationship like death of your spouse or divorce, etc and you may be dealing with a lot of emotional stress.
My advice for seniors who want to start online dating is to take your time and there is no need to rush. This way your journey to finding a partner online will be more fun and pleasant and you will be more ready to stay away from scammers. Good luck.
Do you have any online dating safety tips for seniors? Share with us below.