Every year, millions of elderly Americans become the victim of some kind of confidence scheme or financial fraud, including romance scams. Criminals use these scams to gain the trust of their targets and often communicate directly with them using the phone, computer or mail. In some cases, scammers might use the radio or TV to communicate indirectly with their victims.
Senior Dating – Watch Out for Scams
Seniors are often the main target of online romance scams where fraudsters will lure you in with a story that makes you feel sorry for them after getting to know them. They might appear to be the perfect partner for you, getting to know more about you and taking an interest in you but, in reality, they are gathering as much information as they can to perfect the scam. It’s important to be vigilant if you want to start using dating sites to find a new partner, as these scammers are everywhere. Never give anybody that you have met on an online dating site money, especially if you have not yet met in person and they are asking you to send funds. You can also minimize the risk of being the victim of a romance scam online by choosing a reputable senior dating site with high-security levels. Read the Full Article here to find out more about the top ten dating sites for seniors and choose the best one for you.
Why are Seniors Targeted?
Seniors are often the ideal target for these criminals since they tend to be polite and trusting, hoping to see the best in others. In addition, they also tend to be more likely to own a home, have savings or assets, and have good credit, all of which are attractive to scammers. Along with this, seniors may be less likely to report fraud since they are not sure how to do so or may feel ashamed about being scammed once they realize what is really going on. Some seniors might be afraid that their relatives will begin to doubt that they are able to continue managing their own financial affairs if they admit that they were the victim of fraud. Seniors are also often targeted online since they may be seen to be less tech-savvy, and therefore less aware of the various types of online scams that exist today and how to spot them.
Why Romance Scams?
Just like everybody else, seniors are often looking for their perfect partner. Whether they are single through a divorce or even the death of a partner, most people do not like being alone and want to find a special somebody to share their life with. Romance scams are designed to take advantage of people’s best impulses and our innate human desire to be able to connect with and trust other people. However, they turn people’s genuine kind-heartedness and generosity against them. Romance scammers often use a range of time-tested lies to lure in their targets and make them feel sorry for them, with elaborate and sophisticated tactics to get their victim’s money. Vulnerable elderly people are often left almost defenseless against these tactics, and often have no reason to believe that the person who is scamming them is not telling the truth. When you meet somebody that you get along with, it can be all too easy to get swept away in being showered with compliments by them, especially in the case of seniors who may be feeling lonely recently and welcome this connection with a new person. Scammers particularly look for others who want to see the best in people.
What to Do If You Think You’re Dealing with an Online Romance Scammer
If you think that you or somebody that you know is dealing with an online romance scammer, the first step to take is to end all contact with them immediately. You should take the situation to somebody that you trust and let them know the situation, including your concerns. You can take advantage of tools such as reverse image search to see if somebody that you have met online is using the same pictures on other profiles and use an email lookup service if you have their email address. You might also want to search the internet for similar situations to see if there are any reports of similar scams happening to other people. Never be afraid or embarrassed to report a potential scam to the Federal Trade Commission.
Sadly, seniors are often the main target of online romance scams because these criminals believe that seniors are more likely to be willing to offer ‘help’. Understanding how these scams work and being vigilant if you are using dating sites to meet new people online is more important than ever today. No matter how well you might be getting on with somebody you’ve met online, being asked to send money should always be cause for concern.