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Online Dating Over 50: Do You Know the Risks?

Posted On   date23/10/2014

Online Dating Over 50: Do You Know the Risks?

It is very possible that you have a friend, acquaintance or relative who met their other half online.  Everyone seems to be doing it, and clearly some people have had great success!  Maybe you have even decided to give online dating a try.  Granted, everyone regardless of the age has the same risks when dating online. However, research and police records show that people over 50 account for most of the victims of love scams.   Last year, the greatest amount of filed reports and the greatest amount of losses as well, came from individuals over the age of 50.  Of course, even more concerning is that private investigators and law enforcement say only a small percentage of scam cases ever get reported.   It is only the tip of the iceberg, and the real online dating scam problem is worldwide, and impacting millions of users.

So, if you’re over the age of 50, even if you’re the most cautious and skeptical person in the world, it’s smart to at least realize that internet criminals will be targeting you, perhaps more than those under age 50.  Also, it’s important to understand that online scammers are good at what they do, and anyone can be a victim.  Experienced international investigators say even police officers and attorneys can be victims.

Why are criminals targeting seniors?

There are many reasons why people over 50 are more vulnerable. Being born a long time before the internet age does not help. Most men and women this age had met their former partners the old fashioned way. Dating someone at that time meant that you knew her from somewhere: school, work, the neighborhood or maybe through a friend. But you at least knew she was real.  These days, you don’t know who to trust.  Old fashioned due diligence in the old days meant driving her home after dinner, meeting her family and friends, etc. All these steps were part of the verification process that everybody does when meeting someone the traditional way.   How things have changed!

But things are different with online dating, and it has its pros and cons. The internet and online dating is still part of a new world that is rapidly changing, and is a great place for crooks to hide.   Criminals conducting online scams know that, on average, seniors are less tech savvy and are more trusting than younger people.   They in turn use this to their advantage and try to gain their trust, and steal their money.  Many con artists operate from fraud ridden countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Malaysia, Philippines, Romania, Russia, the Ukraine, South Africa, and so on.  However, experts warn that no country or website is immune from fraud, so be safe.  Share less online and know the warning signs!

Know the warnings signs and red flags

When seniors try online dating, extra caution is strongly advised.   Be skeptical of anyone who falls in love overnight, or seems too good to be true.  Red flags include people who are traveling or working overseas, anyone who requests money, or has an “emergency” while working or traveling internationally.  Never provide personal data or payment to anyone you’ve never met in person.  And remember, share less and protect your private data.  A person does not need to know your exact date of birth or address, or employer or any banking information.

Internet scammers have been ripping people off for a long time and identifying fake profiles is no easy task. They know how to set up an attractive and believable profile. Skepticism should be your starting point, always! If you have found someone you like, or if you were contacted by someone new, start by assuming everything said is fake. If things start to develop in a way that you like, then it´s time to get a dating background check and verify if he or she really is who they claim to be. Online dating criminals are organized and have enough knowledge to make things to appear believable, but a professional investigation will be enough to uncover any fraud.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Some people think that the problems of dating online when you´re over 50 will be relieved if they use a special site, one designed for mature adults. Wrong! You may find more people close to your age and maybe you´ll feel less self-conscious, but the risks of being scammed are the same as in any other site.   Internet criminals target users on all dating and social media sites, such as Match.com, Facebook, and countless others.

Don´t try to be your own private detective

The internet has a lot of information, but it might not have the information you need.  Even if you do find it, how do you know it’s true or accurate.  The problem with the internet is that anyone, anywhere, can publish anything.  Internet criminals take advantage of this and in most cases of fraud, the victim first tried to be “careful” by searching the internet for the subject’s name, only to be relieved when he or she found the information “showing” the subject was real.  Be careful and never assume because you find a real person on the internet, that this means you are necessarily talking to this person.  Criminals create random, fake, false profiles all the time, but they also steal and assume identities of real people.

Reputable international investigators focus on the facts, and verify all known information about an individual who you meet on the internet.  These professional background check investigations can include ID or passport verification, document verification, employment and education verification, public and media records, address verification, birth and marriage records, criminal and court records, fraud screening, travel verification and more!  Our global team of highly trained investigators have the resources and training to verify who is behind the profile!

Lastly, keep your communication on the dating site and don’t give out your actual email address.  This can help you avoid clicking on fraudulent links or downloading viruses to steal your passwords and information.  Take things slow, stay skeptical and verify.

C. Wright
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