As online dating is becoming more of a common occurrence and accepted socially, you must be cautious of who is entering the virtual dating scene, and who you are communicating with is vital. It is best practice not to take a love interest at face value and believe who they say they are from the get-go. As they say, Rome was not built in a day; thus, fostering a healthy and good relationship takes time to develop. Unfortunately, online dating has a dark side, one of which is dating scams. According to USA Today, more than $300 million have suffered losses in scams, most being retirees.
Signs to look out for when chatting with an individual online:
- Attempting to strike up a romantic relationship rather quickly
- Refusing to identify themselves through a virtual call
- Having a photoshopped image that looks too good to be true
- Requests for money, your banking information, or address
Another common scam tactic is if they ask to move you from the platform they initially met you to a personal social media account you may already have to get closer to you before discovering their true intentions.
Spotting a scammer can be difficult if they are experienced and discreet; however, it is good to remain cautious when getting to know them. Seniors can stay safe by seeking advice from family members and close friends and creating conversations about the topic on social media with others to chime in. Seniors should only give out personal information freely if they know the individual well; researching the person they are talking to is advisable. Being in love is a wonderful human experience that should not be left ignored; it goes without being said, always remain watchful of who you allow into your life to share these precious memories with.
The Durham Center for Senior Life
DCSL wants seniors to stay safe. Learn more about recent scams targeting seniors and how to avoid falling into a trap. And follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for more updates—we’re one account you can trust!