Seniors are dating more than ever, and why not? We all deserve companionship, romance and a little excitement in our lives. Online dating has made it easier than ever for people of all ages to meet others who share similar interests.
However, while online dating offers the chance for seniors to find true love once again, there's no shortage of bad-actors lurking in the corners. The anonymity of the internet makes it easier for people to hide their true identities, histories and intentions. Sharing your details also makes you a more convenient target - widowers and divorcees in their 50's and 60's make easier marks.
Here are just a few of the clues that the person you're talking to is actually trying to scam you.
Clues of Online Romance Scams
1. Half Your Age and Twice as Good Looking
Yes it would be nice if that 30 year old bombshell saw your profile and thought to him or herself, wow, the older the better. But if you remember your days as a 35 year old, chances are you weren't scouring the AARP personals for your next romantic adventure.
All that to say, if you're getting approached by someone much younger, and great looking, chances are they're not interested in your looks or personality. Either "swipe left" or proceed with extreme caution. But don't let flattery and your own desires fool you.
2. Picture Perfect
OK, so now you see a picture of a handsome man or beautiful woman and they show themselves in pics on exotic vacations, marble countered kitchens, and BMW's. They obviously don't need your money right? Wrong. It's all designed to let your guard down.
Just like that sleezy guy on a get rich quick infomercial getting out of a Ferrari is supposed to make you believe he's found the secret to wealth (even though he rented the car for the day), so to are those pics meant to lull you into believing they don't need or want your money. But if it all looks to staged, it probably is. Besides, do you really want to be with someone who flaunts their wealth on a dating site?
One trick, try to match all images on google images, to see if they pop up elsewhere.
3. Excuses, excuses, excuses
If you're always getting an excuses as to why your date can't meet in person, tell them to take a hike. Scammers are EXCELLENT at making excuses as to why they can't meet (they never mention they're in Nigeria or their mother's basement). They're spending the summer with their kids, they're travelling through Europe, etc... Don't buy it.
If they were real, and on a dating site, they would be eager to meet in person. That's the point of it after all. See through it and move on. Tell them to get back to you when they're ready to meet.
Eventually, there's going to be a call for help, and it's going to involve an ask for money. It will absolutely play on your heart strings. Mother's having surgery, need to go and be with her, but can't afford the flight, train or whatever. It's bogus. Think about it. Would you, presumably a normal person, every be asking someone you never met, from a dating site nonetheless, for money? Wouldn't you go to a friend or family member?
5. No Shakespeare
Poor language should also be a red flag. Aside from the fact that you may not want to date someone who can't write worth beans, if their grammar or syntax comes across as foreign, but they claim to be born and raised in the USA, chances are they're writing from a scam farm in the Ukraine. Go with your gut.
6. Let's Go Direct
This one's a little less intuitive. If someone you're chatting with asks to take the conversation off the dating app relatively early on and onto your personal email, Whatsapp, or what not, it can also be a red flag. Going off the dating app protects their profile from being flagged by you to the dating app (once you've realized they're scamming you), protecting the significant investment in time they've spent creating their profile and building their history.
Have fun, but stay alert. There are Plenty of Fish in the sea, so don't feel pressured to nibble at the first person that lavishes you with compliments and attention. The number one rule, is that if anyone you're talking to on a dating app asks for money, a gift card, credit card, wire transfer or debit card, it's likely a scam. Normal folks, in normal relationships, don't ask money from people they've never met.
And remember, even if they ask for a small amount of money to be wired, it's often a ruse to get your bank account number, which they can now link to your name and address, giving them the opportunity to possibly steal even more funds from you.
Be patient, trust your gut, have fun!