Do you have questions about your vision health? A Pew Research Center study revealed that nearly 60 percent of U. But seeking romantic bliss online can have a major downside: Cyberspace is full of scammers eager to take advantage of lonely hearts. The con works something like this: You post a dating profile and up pops a promising match — good-looking, smart, funny and personable. This potential mate claims to live in another part of the country or to be abroad for business or a military deployment. But he or she seems smitten and eager to get to know you better, and suggests you move your relationship to a private channel like email or a chat app. Over weeks or months you feel yourself growing closer. You make plans to meet in person, but for your new love something always comes up.
The number of complaints filed to the FTC topped 25,, making dating scams the most reported type of consumer fraud. As more people flock to dating apps and websites hoping to find their soul mate, scammers are also on the prowl looking to take advantage of lonely hearts. About 60 percent of US adults consider online dating a good way to connect with people and popular websites like Match. Romance scammers tend to target widows and the elderly who are more emotionally susceptible to being tricked into giving their supposed love interest money.
Scammers are also getting more sophisticated by coaxing victims into becoming unknowing accomplices in other fraudulent activity.
An elderly widower in Oregon lost $ in an online romance scam to befriend the year-old widower through an online dating service.
People who seek out romance have to dodge dating fraudsters at every age, but seniors are at particular risk for a few types of costly dating scams. The classic sweetheart scammer targets recently widowed or divorced adults in their 50s and older, tries to quickly win their trust and affection by seeming like an ideal match, and then starts asking for money. To be sure, there are plenty of legitimate date-seekers online, but dating scams are a problem worldwide.
Other red flags for senior dating scams include:. These in-person dating safety rules apply to people of all ages:. If all of this seems like a lot of work, remember that online dating can work for seniors. And more seniors are going online for dates. By , the number of and-up dating site users had doubled from just three years before.
Are You at Risk of Falling for These Senior Online Dating Scams?
Millions of people turn to online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone. But instead of finding romance, many find a scammer trying to trick them into sending money. Read about the stories romance scammers make up and learn the 1 tip for avoiding a romance scam. People reported losing more money to romance scams in the past two years than to any other fraud reported to the FTC.
Romance scammers create fake profiles on dating sites and apps, or contact their targets through popular social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, or Google Hangouts. The scammers strike up a relationship with their targets to build their trust, sometimes talking or chatting several times a day.
Scams. Utility Scams Sweepstakes/Lottery Scam Grandparent Scams Tech Support Scam. Dating Scams Health Insurance Scam Medicare Scam Contractor.
File a Consumer Complaint. Romance scammers prey upon feelings, resulting in some of the biggest scam losses — often in the thousands of dollars per victim. Scammers use profiles not only on dating sites but also other social media websites to reach out where you might not be expecting. They use many methods to try to gain your trust. They may talk to you many times a day, making you feel like you really know them. They may tell you they love you very quickly.
Senior Identity Theft, Fraud and Cybercrime
When they talked on the phone he would tell her about a woman he met online and occasionally sent money to. Even though her father never met the woman in person, she would profess her love for him through emails and ask him to send her money to feed her and her daughter. Angie told her father that he was being conned, but he would not listen and continued to send the woman money anyway. It was only after Angie was given power of attorney over her father due to a massive stroke that she realized the extent of the scam.
She found numerous emails from the woman asking for money, including receipts from wire transfers. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon.
Scammers are taking advantage of the coronavirus COVID pandemic to con people into giving up their money. Though the reason behind their fraud is new, their tactics are familiar. Be cautious when accepting offers of help and use trusted delivery services for supplies and food. During this time of uncertainty, knowing about possible scams is a good first step toward preventing them. The Money Smart for Older Adults resource guide and our scam prevention handouts and activities offer telltale signs of a variety of scams, and here are a few coronavirus-specific scams to look out for.
The FTC warned about an increasing number of scams related to vaccines, test kits, cures or treatments, and air filter systems designed to remove COVID from the air in your home. At this time, there is neither a vaccine nor a cure for this virus. A charity scam is when a thief poses as a real charity or makes up the name of a charity that sounds real to get money from you.
Dating site scams photos
District Court in Providence, R. It is alleged in Court documents that beginning in May , victims were contacted by scammers via online dating sites such as Plenty of Fish, Christian Mingle, and Our Time, and through social media platforms such as Words with Friends, often times feigning romantic intentions. The perpetrators of the scams gained the trust of their victims through any number of fraudulent representations, eventually convincing them to send money to bank accounts controlled by members of the conspiracy.
To date, 28 individuals in more than a dozen states have been identified as falling victim to the scams allegedly employed by the five individuals named in the charged conspiracy. United States Attorney Aaron L.
Con artists are eager to take advantage of people looking for love on dating sites. Here’s how to spot a scammer in your pool of matches.
An elderly woman in Raymond is the latest victim of an internet dating scam. She’s now speaking out to warn others about looking for love on the World Wide Web. Her six children are all grown up so Hynum decided it was time to meet someone special. To her suprise a Mr. John Smith from Canada found her. Eugenia Hynum met John Smith on a Christian internet dating service.
They began chatting online, some conversations lasting until three in the morning.
The Senior’s Guide to Online Safety
You can play a vital role in protecting your loved one from harm. Identify the scam Grooming Warning signs How to help Emotional support Has a family member or friend been scammed? More information. The first thing you can do to help a family member or friend is to work out whether they are being or have been scammed. Our types of scams page provides useful information on the main scams in circulation. See if you can recognise any of the warning signs.
‘ ” — —Nathan Wenzler, senior director of cybersecurity at Moss Adams. “These kinds of romance scams are very targeted social engineering.
The FBI is advising consumers to be wary when using online dating sites after the agency saw a 70 percent annual increase in reported romance scams. Cybercriminals are reportedly using online dating sites to trick victims into sending money, providing personal and financial information, or even unknowingly acting as a money mule by relaying stolen funds.
Learn these tips for keeping yourself—and your financial accounts—better protected when meeting people online. Romance scams, also called confidence scams, are when a bad actor deceives a victim into believing they have a trusted relationship and then uses the relationship to persuade the victim to give money, personal and financial information, or items of value to the perpetrator. The initial grooming phase can last for days, weeks, or even months , and by that time, the victim may be extremely vulnerable to the scam.
Techniques of romance scammers are varied and may include:. However, elderly people, women, and those who have lost a spouse are often targeted. Fraudsters have used dating sites to find and target victims for some time, but there is a new twist on romance scams that involves international criminal networks using dating sites to recruit money mules.
The victim is then asked to receive and send money from that account. These bank accounts, the FBI says, may be used to facilitate criminal activities. Even if the account is flagged and closed by the financial institution, the scammer may continue to scam the same victim by asking them to open a new account or may begin grooming a new victim. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep yourself—and your financial accounts—better protected when meeting new people online.
If you believe you have been a victim of a confidence or romance scam, the FBI recommends the following actions:.