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Stay Alert for Online Dating Scams

Looking for love in all the wrong places? Many older adults are looking for love and friendship online, but stay alert for online dating scams. 

What is an online dating scam? 

An online dating scam is when a scammer, male or female, creates a false personal profile and makes contact with you via an online dating agency or chat room. The scammer says that they are seeking romance or a soul mate but are really out to steal not only your heart but your cash too.

How do I know it is a scam?

The scammer will ask for your money! This will not happen immediately - however, before long the scammer will ask for financial help for any number of reasons. Almost always, they will ask you to send money using an untraceable source such as a wire transfer service. Some of the most common reasons they give for why they need your help include:

  • They want to meet you but don’t have enough money to travel to see you
  • They are stranded abroad and don’t have money for travel or visa costs or someone stole their wallet

What can you do to protect yourself from online dating scams? Only use a reputable online dating or chat service and follow the basic safety tips for online dating. Be skeptical and ask yourself simple questions like, “why am I the only person who can help them but I have just met them?” These scammers will claim you are their one and only love, but really you are their one and only target.

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