Online dating has become one of the most popular ways for people of all ages to meet friends, significant others and spouses. While most people have good intentions when using online dating websites, scammers also use the same sites to obtain money, gifts or personal information.
When meeting people online, it is important that you use a reputable website and always consider the possibility that the love interest you are chatting with might be a scammer. The following are some red flags to help determine if that "dream date" might actually be trying to steal your money:
- They are contacting you from hundreds of miles away, have inconsistent information in their profile and/or they have an unrealistic photo
- You are asked to move the conversation outside of the dating website to phone, text, Facebook or email
- You are asked to send money or goods before meeting them in person
- They ask you for personal information such as your bank numbers or Social Security number
- They express strong emotions toward you very early in your conversations
If you recognize these warning signs or suspect unusual behavior, report it the website's administrator and cease all communication with the person immediately. If you have any questions or concerns don't hesitate to contact an AARP Foundation ElderWatch volunteer to talk you through the situation.