Over 65 and looking for love on the internet? You may find more than you bargained for.
Internet Love Scams
Mary, a divorced and retired flight attendant, decided to try Match.com. She immediately got a message from Bob, a very pleasant man. He sent her roses, emailed and texted her often, and so their relationship deepened rapidly over the next few months. Bob was traveling for business outside the country, but they planned to meet at Christmas.
One day, Bob called to tell Mary that he’d been attacked on the street, and his briefcase with all his cash and credit cards had been stolen. He asked her to lend him $5,000 for a ticket home. Then he needed to borrow more money to cover some business expenses. She was devastated when he didn’t show up at Christmas. She was even more devastated when she realized she’d been scammed out of $150,000.
ROMANCE AND THE INTERNET
Of course it’s easier for an older woman to find romance on the internet than in her neighborhood. There are so many more men to choose from, especially if you’re willing to travel. And the desire to find someone—a mate, a lover, even just a friendly companion—can be a powerful motivator at any age. Even a sensible woman may sometimes be tempted to suspend her common sense.
According to FBI reports in 2014 alone, American citizens lost over $86 million in online romance scams. $50 million of those dollars came from women over 50.
SHOULD YOU AVOID INTERNET DATING?
Of course not. As many women can attest, the Internet does increase the odds of your meeting Mr. Right. What you should do is be careful about sharing personal data with new Internet acquaintances. And remember that anyone who seems too good to be true, probably isn’t true. Finally, If you have any suspicions, run image searches of his profile photo at images.google.com or TinEye.com, and paste suspicious text into search engines to see if it's been used elsewhere.
And never, never suspend your common sense.