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.
Here are six things to keep in mind to help you spot and avoid scammers on online dating sites.
Anyone can be the target and victim of these scams—men, women, young, old, gay, straight, white, black, Asian, Hispanic… But the FBI states that women who are “over 40, divorced, widowed, and/or disabled” are prime targets for scammers.
Men are usually widowed engineers, building contractors, military, vet doctors, surgeons or antique dealers.
Women are usually nurses, models, charity or UNICEF workers or antique dealers.
In August, a British man was sent to jail after defrauding two women of over £300,000 ($455,300) 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.
They do this through email, social media, dating websites and other website and apps.
Usually these scammers are pretending to be someone they’re not, using photos and identities of people they’ve found online.
A new report by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has found that last year, singles were conned out of £39 million by fraudsters they’d met on dating sites and apps.