Online dating scams target older Americans finances – CBS News

Wij’ve all heard of on-line dating scams that attempt to get you to send money to someone te Ghana or Nigeria. But now, the number of people falling for those scams is growing at an alarming number.

Fresh statistics out for the last six months of 2014 display, more than 6,400 Americans say they were scammed after visiting online dating sites ter the 2nd half of last year. According to the FBI, that fraud cost users almost $82 million. Many of those being targeted are senior citizens longing to get back te the dating pool.

“I got lonely and I spent a lotsbestemming of time on the laptop playing games, and I just happened to go to the date webpagina,” Janet Cook told us.

When Janet Cook went looking for love online, 17 years after losing hier hubby, she found someone on the very very first day.

“I liked him you know because he said sweet things and he wasgoed very charming and had a zuigeling of a gentle behavior about him,” Cook said.

After four months of courtship including emails and phone calls, but never meeting ter person, the man who claimed to be a contractor from Virginia wasgoed abruptly stuck somewhere ter Africa and te serious trouble.

“According to the story, he became very ill and he wasgoed te the hospital. He claimed to have had a kidney transplant. It wasgoed like $4000 a month,” Cook collective with us. “I wasgoed truly worried about him, I thought the man wasgoed going to diegene.”

The money embarked to add up and before Janet realized she wasgoed being swindled the 76-year-old widow wasgoed out harshly $300,000.

“Thesis are people who have worked so hard for their savings and now they are providing it all away to the romance scammers,” Barbara Hannah Gufferman with the AARP explained.

Hier organization is now warning members that seniors are a prime target for online dating scams.

“The studies vertoning that spil you get older, your capability to decipher deceit declines,” Gufferman noted. “That means spil you get older you have to be even more vigilant.”

Aside from social security and a switch roles mortgage check, Janet Cook works part-time spil a church secretary to supplement hier modest income.

She’s now attempting to recoup some of hier lost savings from match.com, the webpagina where the scammer found hier.

Match.com declined a request for an vraaggesprek, but te a statement to CBS This Morning the company said it takes scams very gravely, which includes monitoring and preventing fraud every step of the way. They also eis to use sophisticated technology to identify fraudulent behavior and prohibit users from countries where scammers operate.

The rate at which the scams are happening is high, according to observers.

“Well, Americans, overheen the last six months of 2014 amazingly enough, lost overheen $82 million,” Gufferman answered.

While that is a loterijlot of money, it may not be the true total, she said.

“That’s what’s bot reported,” Gufferman said. “There are a loterijlot of people out there who are not reporting when they’ve bot scammed because it’s embarrassing.”

AARP said the online scammers share common traits. To spot them you can look for those who make frequent spelling errors, use a fake photo, profess love too soon, often voorkeur to be working overseas and they’ll ultimately end up asking you for money.

“You’re online and you are looking to date and you see some of thesis crimson flags speelgoedpop up– get a 2nd opinion and ask a friend ‘What do you think about this?'” Grufferman said.

But she’s not telling it’s unlikely to find love online.

“I actually, personally know quiebro a few people who have. You don’t need to divulge everything about yourself until you’ve gotten to know that a little bit more,” Grufferman said.

Despite being badly burned, Janet Cook hasn’t given up hier search for a companion online. She’s just a lotsbestemming more savvy now.

“I wouldn’t trust anybody on it without doing some kleuter of background checking and making sure that they are legitimate,” Cook said. “Wij’re all relajado te right situation and the time wasgoed just right for mij.”

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