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In August, a British man was sent to jail after defrauding two women of over £300,000 (5,300) through online dating sites.
He had convinced them that he was a diplomat and that a US marine general had fallen in love with them, causing one woman to pawn jewelry, empty her life savings, sell her car, and take out loans to help this general move to the UK. In 2011, the Internet Crime Complaint Center estimated that the online dating scamming “industry” was worth over million, but it’s likely much higher than that, due to the difficulty of making a good estimate.
If someone was expressing over-the-top love and passion within a couple weeks, you’d be worried.
Early on in a courting relationship, you’ll probably ask a lot of questions, even basic ones like “how tall are you? ” If the person you’re talking to is avoiding these basic questions, that should be a big red flag.
If you fall into this category, be especially wary of people that you meet through dating websites.
Online dating can be difficult for women The AARP also says that seniors are a common target of these scams.
These methods give them better access to you and can help them gather additional information that they can use to con you.
Don’t fall for it: there’s nothing wrong with staying in touch via the dating site.
Interestingly, the AARP says that men fall victim to these scams more often, but that women are more likely to report the scam.Scammers are good at being charming and saying all the right things—and they start it fast.They have a lot of victims to get through, so they’re going to try to move things along as quickly as possible.Of course, just because someone is younger doesn’t mean that they’re a scammer; it’s just something to keep in mind.Scammers also often list themselves as widowed (especially with a child), self-employed, or working overseas.
They might also say that they live near you, but that they’re away; they could be in another country on a trip or for work, but they’ll almost certainly be somewhere far away where you can’t meet them.