Internet TheftDating for singles over 40 is often new territory. Dating online is often new and unfamiliar, which often makes it easy for scammers to take advantage. Dating online opens up new opportunities for meeting a potential partner and should be a positive experience. Just be aware of potential scammers, recognize possible signs, and use strategies to reduce the risk of falling for a scammer.

Be aware that you are at risk

It’s not just the over-40 crowd who can fall victim to an online scammer – online con artists take advantage of all ages, genders, and sexual preferences. However, the FBI warms that single women over 40 who are widowed, divorced, or disabled are often targeted.

Check out the profile photo.

One way to check out someone who contacts you is to save a copy of their photo, then use Google’s reverse image search to check whether anyone has posted their photo with a scam warning. Another red flag is if that photo shows up on a different dating profile or site with a different name. If there is no photo on the profile, be careful. Ask them to email you a photo and take the same precautions.

Communicate on the dating site and avoid outside communication at first.

Although not everyone who asks you to communicate outside the dating sight is a scammer, be careful in the early days of your communication-if someone asks you to contact them through Facebook, email, or Skype, be careful. This is often a typical way scammers can get access to other information about you to find out more and make their con more realistic. Remember that a scammer’s goal is to get you off the site as soon as possible to not only get more information but also to avoid the detection systems of the dating site, which might identify warning signs in your communication.

Not being able to meet in person.

Be wary if you communicate with someone who is always out of town or too busy to meet up – why would these people be on a over 40 dating site if this is true? If they set up meetings and repeatedly cancel at the last minute, be careful. It is true you may meet someone who is genuinely nervous about meeting up, but if this happens many times, this is a huge warning sign.

If they ask you for money or financial information

This is a major red flag. Do not answer any questions about your salary or any other financial information, especially when you have just met them. Any request for money-no matter how small the amount, or how genuine the request sounds (not being able to access money while traveling, an emergency visit to the hospital) is a danger signal, and this person should be avoided, especially if the person on the profile says they make a high salary-this often makes people think they are trustworthy and able to pay them back, but there is no proof of this.

Don’t let the potential scammers scare you off dating online; for many people, it has been a successful way to meet people they otherwise wouldn’t have encountered. More and more people are finding success meeting their match online; just be aware of the dangers and protect yourself from potential scammers so that your experience online is a positive one.

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