The 80-year-old spent $500,000 on his new girlfriend—whom he’d never met. The online romance began with an e-mail (from supposedly a dating service) from a young nurse in Ghana who said she would take care of him. Then requests for money followed. The man’s son believed that the “nurse” was likely a male con artist.
Another case involved an 81-year-old man whose caregiver, whom he met through a dating site, wrote $80,000 in checks from his account.
Online dating scams affect all ages, but seniors in particular are vulnerable due to their loneliness and sometimes compromised mental state.
- Seniors should enlist support from several people they can trust, to advise them whenever they are conducting financial transactions of any kind.
- If a loved-one is being scammed, do everything possible to prevent that person from traveling to visit the alleged love-interest. Because really, there isn’t anyone to travel to.
- Be suspicious of someone who’s falling in love with the elderly person so quickly.
- Be suspicious if the love-interest suddenly needs large amounts of money.
- Be suspicious if the love-interest’s photo looks too perfect (this suggests it’s a fake).
All people should be on guard for online dating scams.
- Use only well-known websites.
- Seek referrals from friends who’ve met legitimate partners online.
- Avoid posting personal information in your dating profile.
- Seek information about potential dates elsewhere online to see if it matches up.
- Report any potential dates to the website if they ask for money.
Dating sites should incorporate device identification, device reputation and risk profiling services to protect users from scammers.
iovation, Inc., offers ReputationManager 360, the world’s leading device reputation service, protecting more than two billion online dating activities and flagging 2.7 million fraudulent activities.
Robert Siciliano, personal security and identity theft expert contributor to iovation. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked! See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video. Disclosures. For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247