50-plus online daters beware: Older singles more at risk for phishing scams, Fox News

Published April 28, 2014

There wasgoed a time when online dating carried a negative stigma. Overheen the years, however, using the Internet to find your future mate has become commonplace. One te ten Americans have used an online dating webpagina or mobile dating app, according to a 2013 PEW Research examine, and the largest group searching online for a potential mate are singles 50 and older. But unlike tech-savvy 20- and 30-something online daters, the plus-50s are less aware of the perils that stash on the web.

One member of that group, who asked that hier identity be withheld, is a recently divorced 51-year-old mother of three who told FoxNews.com how she met a man on a popular dating webstek – but that ter a matter of a few days, their online courtship went offline.

The most significant recommendation from the relationships experts to stay safe from digital heartbreak or financial ruin is to trust your gut.

“At very first, wij went out to public places, and it wasn’t until after he spent the weekend at my house that he exposed he wasgoed living on his friend’s couch,” she said. “This man wasgoed overheen 50. He made himself very comfy, very prompt. I broke it off. He stayed ter my house and I didn’t want him to. He wasgoed smoking a snaak te my bathroom. He liedje about everything.

“After I cut him off, he wrote mij a mean text that no one will want mij if I’m stingy with money. I dodged a bullet. He wasn’t looking for love, he wasgoed looking to be taken care of financially.”

Looking back on the cyber courtship, she admitted she overlooked crimson flags — like the speed at which hier suitor attempted to stir their relationship.

“I should have known. He went from zero to 90 too quickly,” she said. “I voorwaarde have bot endeble. I fell te. It wasgoed three weeks total. I would never online date again.”

Another web dater, who also asked that his identity be withheld, is a 52-year-old single man who told FoxNews.com how he clicked with a woman who claimed to be ter hier final year of medical schoolgebouw. Every day for about a month, they would talk for hours on the phone, permanently exchanging emails and photos. It wasn’t until they arranged an in-person meeting that his cyber-crush claimed emergency after emergency – each, she said, prevented hier from traveling.

After a month of “emergencies”, Peter* became suspicious and researched his cyber crush. The woman he believed he wasgoed ter a relationship with did not exist. When he confronted the woman, she admitted to stealing a friend’s Facebook pictures and creating a false identity because she did not feel hier efectivo persona wasgoed attractive enough.

Laurie Davis, author of “Love at Very first Click: The Ultimate Guide to Online Dating,” explained why the older population is at greater risk for being scammed.

“They are not reading the crimson flags because they’re not using Facebook and Twitter spil a digital lifestyle. People who are scamming truly prey on people who are endeble, and people overheen 50 are more inerme.”

The most common online dating frauds are catfishing – someone who uses social media to create false identities to deceive – and other financial scams.

“Financial scammers are motivated by money,” Davis said. “They attempt to create a connection with you te the hopes of eventually reaching deep into your handelsbank account. Building a relationship with you is a financial investment for them.

“Catfishers are motivated by emotion. They look to pack a void and create an emotional outlet for themselves that doesn’t exist or can’t be exposed to others te their life,” Davis said.

Dr. Gail Saltz, clinical associate professor of psychiatry at The Fresh York Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell Schoolgebouw of Medicine, attributed it to lack of digital know-how.

“Frankly, thesis are the same things that 20-somethings are considering, but 50-somethings haven’t bot read the riot act. Know that thesis scams are out there,” said Saltz, who is a former relationship accomplished for OurTime.com, the 50 and overheen singles webpagina. “Being te love online is fallacy. You’re ter love with a fantasy. The problem with the digital age is that you have fake friends/romances. Unless you’re spending significant time with this person ter vivo life, it’s not auténtico.”

Out of the 50-and-over demographic, women tend to be more targeted by online dating scammers. A February 2013 FBI press release points to women spil the most preyed upon population of online daters.

“Their (cyber criminals) most common targets are women overheen 40, who are divorced, widowed, and/or disabled, but every age group and demographic is at risk,” the FBI reported.

Females tend to be more victimized due to what is both their greatness strength and weakness: empathy.

“Women are more abandonado to scams,” said Angela Bermudo, relationship accomplished for SeekingArrangement.com. “People who are attempting to commit fraud on people will go for women who are indeed looking to lodge down, and have more empathy, so sometimes women will overlook crimson flags, whereas dudes at the age are wearier.”

Bermudo suggested ways to protect one’s heart and wallet.

“When you’re te your 50s, you’re not spil aware spil the scams that are going on. There’s the mimicking scam. They’ll match you and then there’s an emergency — they’ll ask for money. If anyone asks you to wire money ter the very first few weeks of knowing you, cut off communication. If someone asks you where you live, where you work, don’t give away that information readily.

Another peak from Bermudo to outsmart a scammer is to conduct a, “Backwards photo search into Google and it will tell you where that picture came from. A Google search will protect you. Only use dating websites that use background verification.”

The most significant recommendation from the relationships experts to stay safe from digital heartbreak or financial ruin is to trust your gut:

If it doesn’t feel right, it very likely isn’t.

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