Sunday, July 15, 2012

Online Dating Scams and Benefits

Are you lonely and hope to find someone to spend time with ... perhaps even marry?  Many senior citizens have turned to online dating sites, and there is nothing wrong with that.  You will see these sites advertised on Yahoo, along the sidebar of this blog and in other reputable locations.

However, if you do decide to sign up for a dating site, there are a few common sense precautions you should take.  Below is some information to help you enjoy these sites, while protecting yourself ... and your savings account.

What You Should Know About Online Dating

I have actually covered the topic of online dating scams in detail in another blog which I write.  You can read that detailed article here:

Lies and Liars: Online Dating Scams


As you will discover in the above article, while many people are nice on these sites, there are a few scammers that you could encounter, and they are looking for vulnerable people to become their next online dating victims.  The scammers put together new, imaginary identities for themselves, and create a wonderful back story.  They depict themselves as being caring, thoughtful, loving, fun, well-traveled and interested in a wide variety of sports and hobbies.  They may use stolen pictures of attractive middle-aged people.  Sometimes they pose as men or women with successful professional careers.  Who wouldn't want to date someone like them?  They sound great, but they are really scammers who are simply trolling for their next victim.  You do not have to be a victim of this small group of scammers, however!

How To Protect Yourself From Online Dating Scams

Although you will find more details in the article I mentioned above, below are the basics that everyone should know.  While these actions will not guarantee that you will not be scammed, they can dramatically reduce the chances.

*  Go slow in forming relationships with someone on an online dating site.
*  Use paid dating sites; the people on them have to use credit cards and real identities.
*  Give preference to sites that do criminal background checks.
*  Do not give out personal information for a long time ... where you work, live, etc.
*  Speak with them on the phone or by Skype before meeting them.
*  Meet at a neutral location several times before meeting them privately.
*  Avoid long-distance relationships ... they may not live where they say.
*  Become very suspicious if they begin to need money for a sick relative, a business problem or in order to buy tickets to visit you.
*  Google the person's name and check them out on RomanceScams.org or PigBusters.net to see if there are complaints about this person scamming someone else.

Advantages of Online Dating Sites

While there are some risks involved with dating sites, they can also be a wholesome, positive way to meet someone.  Thousands of couples have met and gotten married after getting to know each other through online dating.  There are good people on these sites.

Many of the Baby Boomers I know are divorced or widowed, and they are hoping to meet someone new.  They no longer hang out in bars, and their circle of friends may not be as wide as it was in their younger days.  Often the clubs and organizations they do join are made up primarily of members of their own sex.  As a result, they aren't sure how to meet members of the opposite sex and form new romantic bonds.  They may want to date, but just not know how to meet other eligible people near their own age.  This is why an online dating site can be a pleasant way to meet someone you might want to date.

Fortunately, the majority of the people on these sites are nice, honest, respectable people like yourself.  Many of them really are attractive, considerate and fun-loving people.  Just take your time and follow the recommendations above and you are much more likely to have a positive online dating experience.  Don't rush into anything and, if you have any doubts, discuss them with your friends.  They can help you make sure you are thinking clearly and not putting yourself at risk.  In fact, there is nothing wrong with bringing along a friend the first few times you meet a stranger.  You'll be much more comfortable ... and safer!

To stay up-to-date on all the latest scams, swindles and hoaxes, you are invited to follow my Lies and Liars blog, as well as this one.

You are reading from the blog:  http://www.baby-boomer-retirement.com

Graphic of heart courtesy of morguefile.com/

4 comments:

  1. An excellent cautionary message. As people age they sometimes become more trusting and can easily be scammed.

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  2. Thank you for your comments. It is frightening that there are so many people out there who are trying to cheat other people through a wide variety of scams. Often they prey on us when we are the most vulnerable.

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