In August, a British man was sent to jail after defrauding two women of over £300,000 (5,300) through online dating sites.
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.
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.
Again, both men and women can and have fallen victim to online dating scammers, but women tend to be targeted more aggressively.
Interestingly, the AARP says that men fall victim to these scams more often, but that women are more likely to report the scam.
The profiles of online dating scammers can exhibit some clear signs that something is off—you just need to know what to look for.
Most scammers choose victims that are older than they are, for example, so if someone who is significantly younger than you says that they’re interested, it could be cause for concern.
Of course, just because someone is younger doesn’t mean that they’re a scammer; it’s just something to keep in mind.
Scammers also often list themselves as widowed (especially with a child), self-employed, or working overseas.
They might also say that they live near you, but that they’re away; they could be in another country on a trip or for work, but they’ll almost certainly be somewhere far away where you can’t meet them.