· There are several types of investment scams that specifically target seniors: Ponzi schemes. A Ponzi scheme is when scammers use the money from new investors to pay AdSearch For Love, Romance, or Partnership with Our 5 Best Senior Dating Sites! Browse Free. See Why Singles Love These Dating Sites. Find Something Serious Or Casual. Start Today! 06/09/ · So why do Scammers Target Seniors? Loneliness. Senior residents are often very depressed in their your retirement decades, and this refers to particularly the case if they are 18/02/ · If you think you may be a victim of identity theft or a senior online dating scam, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at But online dating sites and apps are also a mining ground for romance scams. Around 5 million elderly Americans report every year that they were financially exploited by scammers. This ... read more
The profile will probably look legitimate because these scammers often steal photos and names of real people and carefully craft the profile to make it seem like a real person. This person may contact you over messenger on the dating service, and over time you might develop feelings for them. Just when it is time for you to finally meet them in person, something will suddenly come up like a death in their family or the inability to buy a plane ticket. Some dating scams involve relationships that are built on phony intentions.
You might meet someone and start a relationship with them, not realizing that they are really just after your money or looking to find a free caretaker. Seniors especially are at risk of scams aimed at getting ahold of their savings. It is also not unusual for older men and women to look for partners in their later years who are a bit younger and healthier than themselves.
Sometimes this is totally innocuous, but occasionally it reflects an ulterior motive to have a reliable caretaker as their own health declines. They may type poorly or in broken English, even though they claim English is their first language. This is a sign that the profile might be run by a scammer located outside of the country. Of course, this is not necessarily a red flag if they tell you English is not their first language.
A scammer may ask for money after a short time of convincing the elder he loves her, and make some sort of excuse like they need immediate life-saving surgery. The senior, caring as much as she does, sends the money with no hesitation. Although the desire to look nice in a profile is natural, sometimes when something looks too good to be true, it probably is. A few ways to spot a fake or bogus profile photo is by checking out the background, clothing, jewelry, vehicles, or any other materialistic items.
For example, if you are browsing through the options available to you and come across a profile with a man sitting in front of a Lamborghini, or wearing a Rolex watch, this is cause for suspicion. Obviously, this does not automatically write this person off as a scammer, but it is important to understand that scammers particularly love using these photos. Nothing grabs the attention of others more than luxury cars and expensive material items that a simple swipe could acquire you. Scammers typically like using stock photos as well — which leads to our next prevention method, Google reverse image search.
Google reverse image search is a great way to distinguish whether or not an image is stolen. The process is really quite easy. You can simply head over to Google and upload any photo you would like, and Google will search billions of websites to see which ones that photo has been uploaded to. But how do you know if the photo is stolen? One way to check if that photo has been stolen is to check if it has been uploaded by profiles using different names.
You may even find that it is actually a stock photo. If this is the case, then it is very likely a stolen photo used to catfish. However, if you find that the photo is connected to only one name, then they are most likely who they say they are.
The main purpose of dating websites is to find the right match, so you can set a date to see if the two of you connect. Scammers obviously will avoid this, but they can be very creative about the way they avoid it. This can be anything from a minimal cold to something more drastic, like a sudden accident, hence their unavailability.
If you ever find yourself matched with someone and they prefer to wait a week or two before meeting in person, there is typically nothing to worry about. But if this goes on for more than a few weeks, this could be cause for suspicion. While scammers may try to scam you by stealing personal information, the most common way they get you is by requesting money.
They can sometimes get very creative about what they tell you the money is for. It almost always starts small; for example, they may ask for small amounts of money for a quick tire fix.
This common ploy often quickly grows into a much larger number, even into the thousands range. Oftentimes, the reasons quickly become more and more elaborate as well, such as emergency medical care for a relative. These can certainly be cause for concern. Unfortunately, seniors are especially vulnerable to this because they usually do not have a great understanding of these scams. As we all know, an honest person would never create a false scenario simply to get money out of someone.
You match with what seems like the man of your dreams, and though he lives on the other side of the world, you push that aside because you have quite literally found a Prince.
Be careful, though; this is a very popular scam and I have personally known someone come very close to falling victim for this. Eventually, he will tell you that he has an excessive amount of money and needs you to send him money in order to unlock his funds. You send him the money and never hear from him again. It may seem obvious to some, but these Prince impostors are very well-trained with scripts and have very convincing ways of gaining trust; this is their job, after all.
A very simple way to distinguish a scammer from an honest person is by evaluating their English. Finally, report any suspected activity to the FTC.
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Share Tweet Pin. There are four primary reasons seniors are targeted for online dating scams: If we have signed up for online dating, we most likely live alone and are somewhat isolated.
As a generation, are often more trusting than younger generations when it comes to relationships. Many seniors have a nest egg to see them through retirement. Seniors are the least likely victim to report the crime.
Can you Help Me? The most common stories scammers use are: Sick relative Personal medical bills Loss of job Airfare to come to visit Business crisis New business venture Car Repairs Whichever, one the scammer chooses, this is usually just the start.
Money Mules A money mule is an individual that transfers money illegally acquired at the direction or request of another person. Identity or Data Theft The scammer will send you a link for a game, app, or service.
Here are a few things to watch for when using online dating sites: The person you are talking to has an almost instant infatuation or attraction, claiming strong feelings early on in your communication. The photo on their dating profile is very attractive and appears to be professionally done.
It might also look like a photo from a magazine, instead of an everyday picture. They might also appear quite a bit younger. They refuse to talk on the phone or video chat. The person wants to take the conversation off the dating website shortly after your initial contact.
They will excessively shower you with attention and compliments, filling your inbox and contacting you multiple times a day.
They claim to want to meet but never do, and they will habitually cancel plans last minute. They say they travel out of the country regularly. What You Can Do to Protect Yourself From Online Dating Scams The best way to protect yourself are to watch for red flags, but also: Never give anyone you met online money, and end or minimize contact with them immediately.
Unfortunately, online scammers often can easily take advantage of senior citizens. In this article, we will go over each of the above online scams, telling you what they are and what to look out for.
You can also read about other types of financial scams targeting older adults that are not necessarily online here. The following scams are all Internet-based. Phishers present themselves as someone the senior can trust, which often makes elderly people fall for the scam. Then, the phisher convinces the senior or other victim to pass along their most sensitive data.
This can include computer passwords and usernames, your social security number, credit card information and debit card PIN numbers, or sometimes even bank account numbers and account access information. Most phishing scams involve the use of instant messaging and email spoofing. Phishers will disguise themselves as IT administrators, online payment processors, banks, auction sites, social media platforms, and any other source elderly individuals could believe.
They also are adept at creating fake websites that look exactly like the real thing. A great example of this is the Wells Fargo phishing scams that have circulated more than once in recent years and lured thousands of unsuspecting people to take the bait and give up their sensitive information.
In this type of fraud, the phishers created emails that looked very close to the ones that could be generated by Wells Fargo. The email tells people they have been locked out of their Wells Fargo account, therefore they should click the link provided in the email immediately, in order to verify their account.
You can bet that many people have jumped on that and clicked the link not knowing it was a type of scam. Remember that clicking on ANY link in an email could mean you are unknowingly downloading malware or viruses. Often, clicking a link gives the scam artist access to your account or personal information, particularly if you are asked to log in to something like a bank account after you click the link. To protect seniors, family members should advise them to never click on an email link. They look so real, in fact, that I had a hard time resisting clicking on the link in the text.
Thank goodness I did, because it would have possibly given the scammers access to my financial information. Any combination of these red flags means your senior should ignore it. If it makes them feel better to confirm that the text is fake, they can get the phone number of the REAL company from a statement or invoice NOT the one in the text message! and call Customer Service to ask if any texts have been sent to them. Is your elderly loved one looking for love?
If so, both you and the senior must stay abreast of the so-called sweetheart swindlers, also known as online dating scams. These scammers hide behind the guise of online dating. The con artist goes on about how much they want to meet the elder and are ready to travel to wherever the senior lives. The problem is, they just need a little bit of money to get there. The trap is set and the poor elder ends up wiring some money for a trip that will never take place.
Over time, swindlers will ask for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars from their victims. Not all at once, though — that may look too suspicious, but they will gradually lead the person they have targeted deeper and deeper into their snare.
And, because the victim is lonely, they often gladly open their checkbooks. Catfishing also involves online dating, but not in the same capacity as the sweetheart swindle. Then, they claim they are that person. Sometimes money exchanges will happen with a catfishing scam, sometimes the scammer is after personal information and identity theft. Aside from personal losses, your senior risks a broken heart if they take up with an online catfish. According to the Consumer Federation of America or CFA , the Grandparent Scam goes like this….
A person posing as a family member or close friend gets in touch with the senior. They request money to cover some type of an emergency. For example, they might pose as a grandchild and say they were at a club and accidentally taken to jail, so they need bail money. Maybe they would act like a grandchild who went to another country on Spring Break and was robbed, so they need airfare to come home.
You get the idea. To complicate matters even more, those involved with the Grandparent Scam will often ring the senior late at night. UPDATE: Scammers are now using voice-cloning technology, so you may really believe that your child or grandchild is talking! Read this article to see how easy it is for scammers to use a voice that convinces you it is your relative.
If your senior ever does a bit of Internet shopping, they could fall into an online shopping scam. With one of these, the scammer makes a retail website that looks just like the real deal. My elderly neighbor fell for this one recently. This often leads unsuspecting users to click on the ad which generates income for the company that owns the web browser.
Not realizing her error, she called the fake company. Thinking that she was talking to a legit employee, she explained her computer issue. The fake tech support person then told her he would have to take over her computer via remote access, in order to see what the problem was. What if he had my bank account information or could get into my credit cards now? She spent the rest of the day on the phone with the police, her banks, and her credit card companies — closing accounts and getting new credit cards issued.
I should tell you that this is not someone who is computer-illiterate, either. I have a few older friends who have fallen for tech support scams. The senior is contacted either by a phone call or a pop up on their computer screen.
The story is almost always the same…. The message or the caller claim they are a technical support person and that there is some problem or attempt of fraud on their computer or personal information bank account, financial account, insurance, etc. Older adults have to be aware that there are hundreds of ways they can lose their retirement funds to scammers.
The best way to avoid becoming the victim of a scam is to refrain from clicking on links in emails or texts. Esther Kane is a certified Senior Home Safety Specialist through Age Safe America. She also graduated from Florida International University with a BS in Occupational Therapy.
She practiced OT in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina for 10 years. She specialized in rehabilitation for the adult population. Her expertise in home assessments and home safety issues for seniors will help you to make the best possible decisions for your elderly parent or senior that you are caring for.
Para espanol. View all post by Esther Kane Website. Skip to content Menu Close 8 Online Scams Taking Advantage of Seniors Esther Kane Security. Share This Article. Table of Contents. image courtesy of Wells Fargo. Image courtesy of Wells Fargo. About the Author: Esther Kane.
05/04/ · 12 Common Senior Citizen Scams You Need To Know. The Grandparent scam; Government imposter scams Elder financial abuse; False investment scams; Fake 13/07/ · But just keep in mind that a lot of scammers are based in Nigeria, Ghana, the Ukraine, Russia, and China. 4. They Ask a Lot of Personal Questions But Avoid Yours, The · There are several types of investment scams that specifically target seniors: Ponzi schemes. A Ponzi scheme is when scammers use the money from new investors to pay 19/07/ · If you experience any problems on the site or app, the Zoosk team can be reached at () and [email protected] Zoosk also provides numerous do’s and don’ts 18/02/ · If you think you may be a victim of identity theft or a senior online dating scam, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at AdSearch For Love, Romance, or Partnership with Our 5 Best Senior Dating Sites! Browse Free. See Why Singles Love These Dating Sites. Find Something Serious Or Casual. Start Today! ... read more
A study that was performed by the FBI recently, concluded that people who were born in the era of pres are much more trusting than our current generations. They claim to want to meet but never do, and they will habitually cancel plans last minute. Online dating scams targetting senior citizens have become even more prevalent in recent years , though they have existed for a few decades. Some of the same patterns are true for other types of scams too, such as tech support scams , gift card scams , and even COVID scams. A sweetheart scam is when a person uses fake profiles on dating sites to engage victims, stir up romantic feelings, and ask for money. For example, if you are browsing through the options available to you and come across a profile with a man sitting in front of a Lamborghini, or wearing a Rolex watch, this is cause for suspicion. Key Takeaways A sweetheart scam is when a person uses a fake online profile to engage victims, stir up romantic feelings, and ask for money.If they do not, then this person is likely lying to you, senior online dating scams. Scammers also know that seniors are more vulnerable during this time of loneliness, which means seniors have a huge gap that they are willing to sacrifice in order to get some spice back in their life. Here senior online dating scams a few things to watch for when using online dating sites:. If this is the case, then it is very likely a stolen photo used to catfish. Could You Be A Victim Of A Romance Scam?!