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Here are six things to keep in mind to help you spot and avoid scammers on online dating sites.
Anyone can be the target and victim of these scams—men, women, young, old, gay, straight, white, black, Asian, Hispanic… But the FBI states that women who are “over 40, divorced, widowed, and/or disabled” are prime targets for scammers.
If you receive other photos, and anything seems off, be wary.
Even if someone’s profile looks legit, there are other signs to keep an eye out for, especially during the beginning of your communication.
In August, a British man was sent to jail after defrauding two women of over £300,000 (5,300) through online dating sites.
He had convinced them that he was a diplomat and that a US marine general had fallen in love with them, causing one woman to pawn jewelry, empty her life savings, sell her car, and take out loans to help this general move to the UK. In 2011, the Internet Crime Complaint Center estimated that the online dating scamming “industry” was worth over million, but it’s likely much higher than that, due to the difficulty of making a good estimate.
These methods give them better access to you and can help them gather additional information that they can use to con you.Don’t fall for it: there’s nothing wrong with staying in touch via the dating site.Scammers are good at being charming and saying all the right things—and they start it fast.People are often ashamed to come forward and admit that they’ve been duped.It’s not a good feeling to have been taken advantage of, and a scheme that’s so obvious in hindsight is even harder to admit to. If you date online, take precautions to protect yourself.
The AARP also says that seniors are a common target of these scams.