Today, millions of baby boomers are participating in online dating sites to find someone to date, a companion, and perhaps even someone to be with for the rest of their lives. Whether they have been married before or not, online dating sites dedicated to those over 50 years old are more popular than ever. With more baby boomers becoming comfortable with the idea of meeting someone online, the convenience of over 50 mature dating sites has become a part of their daily lives.
Unfortunately, the success and growing confidence baby boomers have in online dating sites has resulted in an increase of criminals taking advantage of those who are vulnerable and naïve. The fast money scams perpetrated by criminals using online dating sites is growing and to prevent being taken advantage of means being properly prepared.
Here are a few tips to keep you safe while meeting people on online dating sites for over 50. A little caution is a good thing as it can keep you safe while still being able to meet new people with confidence.
Understanding the Scams
To avoid being scammed, it’s important to understand the different types of online dating scammers. For the most part, the scams work because the victim is unfamiliar with how the scam operates and in that confusion, is where they lose their money.
The first sign is that the scammer claims to be an American who travels quite a bit and works overseas which in and of itself seem innocuous. But the truth is that they live overseas and are targeting women who are divorced, widowed, or disabled and over 50. However, there have been those outside the target group who have been scammed in this manner.
The scammer will start off like many other potential suitors in that they will strike up a conversation and form a connection over the weeks and months that follow. Keep in mind that the scammer is usually courting several women at once to maximize their chances of getting money out of your pocketbook. Once they have earned your trust, then comes the request for the money.
Because you have grown together over the weeks and months, a trust has been built up and many will respond to the request for money. The reasons given sound reasonable and the money requested is not very much. But it does not stop at the first request as they might send you checks to cash since they are out of the country, forward a package to their location, or ask for more money because of one reason or another.
Build up your trust in them is the first step, followed by asking for money to see just how gullible you might be. Of course, many see through this type of scam, but there are many others who do not. And they lose thousands of dollars as well as become involved in criminal activity that includes laundering money and sending packages containing money or illegal items to another country.
How to Protect Yourself
Protecting yourself from scammers like these starts with the understanding that they will play on your best intentions to get what they want. The basis of most scams is that your unwitting participation makes you feel better and more connected to someone that you have never met. Even the best mature dating sites for over 50 will have scammers who use fake profiles, pictures, and accounts that do not represent their true selves.
So, how do you protect yourself from someone that plays on your best intentions? It’s not easy, but there are a few things that you can keep in mind when meeting people online so you can stay on your guard.
Be Wary of Frequent Travelers:
Especially travelers who spend a great deal of time overseas. While there are business people who do travel quite a bit, it should be a red flag if they say they are spending a lot of time overseas. Here, many of those who have been scammed may get an initial impression that something is wrong because who looks for love when they have no time in their lives to meet, date, and settle down with someone?
So, when they tell you about traveling overseas frequently, ask about the company they work for or if they are an independent business person, their industry. Once you get to know them, it should be easy enough to check them out away from the dating site.
Never Accept Requests:
The play on your sympathies starts with requests that should be made to those they know better. From sending them money to delivering a package or cashing a check, such requests should not be made to you. Rather, reject all requests and offer sound advice about finding other means of accomplishing such tasks. If they are truly legit, they should never send you such requests in the first place.
Keep in mind that you have never met this person face-to-face. Virtually all scammers who prey on the lonely and vulnerable never meet their victims. So, keep in mind that it’s best to at least meet and get to know someone personally so you can make the best-informed decisions.
Another type of dating scam involves extortion and blackmail where you meet someone in an online dating site and move the conversation to a specific social networking site where it becomes more intimate. Afterwards, the victims are sent a link to where the conversation took place, photos, phone numbers, and claims that they are “cheaters”.
For just $99, they’ll clear it all up, but you have no evidence that such a thing happened.
While $99 is the typical fee, sometimes it can run into the hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Protecting yourself from such a scam is straightforward as you should never agree to communicate outside the best paid dating sites that offer protection for you and your reputation.
By staying aware of how scammers operate, you can still enjoy yourself on proper online dating sites so you can meet new people.