Safety Tips For Seniors Exploring Dating Sites

| October 28, 2015 | 0 Comments | Email This Post Email This Post

 

Online Dating Tips for seniors

Online Dating Tips for seniorsOnline Safety Tips For Seniors Exploring Dating SitesOnline dating has become increasingly popular and many people, including seniors, have turned to the internet to meet people on multiple platforms.

 

Online Safety Tips For Seniors Exploring Dating Sites

Online dating has become increasingly popular and many people, including seniors, have turned to the internet to meet people on multiple platforms.

If you’ve ever thought about trying online dating or are new to the online dating scene, one of the top things on your mind, before anything else, should be safety. Seniors are targeted far more than other age groups. Last year the Internet Crime Complaint Center reported nearly  45,000 people over the age of 60 filed scam complaints with more than $26MM in losses through romance scams alone. Additionally, romance fraudsters typically claim to be originally from the United States (or your local region), but are currently overseas, or going overseas, for business or family matters.

However, to be fair, not everyone is malintentioned. More importantly, there are some clear signs to look out for which can give you some extra security and savviness to protect yourself as you explore the online dating world.

5 Online Safety Tips

1.   Do not give any personal information to someone before you’ve met in person

There’s no need to give anyone your phone number, email, add them on Facebook, Linkedin, or even say your last name before you’ve met in person. The reason is that you do not want someone to be able to find you online, because if they are a criminal, they might be able to do enough digging to find you in real life. Furthermore, if you add this person on Facebook and then you post that you’re on vacation or out of town, this makes it very easy for a criminal to target your home while you are away. It all sounds so logical, but also easy to forget! We want to trust people, so we give this information away freely. However, you’ll have to politely decline to answer these questions until you meet in person. If they try to force this information out of you, they’re not a good companion anyway!

2.  Always meet in a public place

This is very, very important. Even if the person you are about to meet passes an identity and background check, your physical protection is most important. Always meet in a public place the first time you meet. No exceptions. Make sure there is plenty of light and that there are other people around. You just never know. If you meet them and they are 30 years older (or younger) and have a different hair color than their photos, you haven’t really been scammed, you’ve just been Catfished.

3. If their profile includes being in the military, be very careful

Oftentimes, scammers will choose to use photos of people who are in the military. They do this because a position in the military is highly respected and admirable. If you come across someone with military photos, do not share information until you meet them in person! Especially if this person says they are away on active military duty. That’s a common way for a con artist to take advantage of someone.

Consider this recent story where a woman connected with a man on Tinder who claimed he was in the U.S. military. They spoke a lot, and after a while he asked her to send him a package in Afghanistan. He told her it would have to be sent through a third party. When she spoke to the third party, they told her for “security” they needed to know her passport number, bank account numbers, and social security number. SCAM!

4. If your new companion is long-distance, get them to Skype or Facetime

So many people end up getting scammed because they don’t follow this simple rule. If someone is miles away, you must video chat with them before sharing anything about yourself. This is because online scamming organizations will have different people working around the clock, some managing the profiles, and some who are asked to be the “over-the-phone” voice. The person on the phone is never the person you see in the profile. Because of this, they will make endless excuses about why they can not have a video chat with you. Don’t believe them!! Simply say that you can not talk further until you meet in person or over video chat.

5. Google their name, photos, and email address

This is TOO easy to do, so there are no excuses! To Google a photo, right click on that photo and click “copy image URL.” Then, go to Google, and select “Images.” Click on the camera icon and paste the link you just copied. Scammers will almost always come up on Google because people who have figured out they are a scammer do this kind thing and post the information to save others from meeting the same unfortunate fate.  There are some great websites that do this like Pigbusters.net or Romancescams.org. One woman in Canada could have been saved from losing $10,000 if she had simply Googled this man.

Safety in Numbers

Another way to protect yourself is to meet up in a group! A group activity is a very low key, easy way to meet people. Even if you’re in a public place, meeting someone for the first time alone can be scary for many, especially for those who have been victims of an online romance scams.

To read the full blog, click here.

Marcie Rogo is the Co-Founder of Stitch.net– a new service offering companionship to adults 50+ with extra ID validation and security measures to keep scammers and con artists off the service. 

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