(844) 627-8267 | Info@NationalCyberSecurity
(844) 627-8267 | Info@NationalCyberSecurity

Women over 50 are losing a fortune to online lovers | #daitngscams | #lovescams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | #match.com | #dating

Romance can be one swipe away but con men are out to cash in.

Women older than 50, across all races, are the biggest target of romance scams, says Sharon Knowles, member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

“I think the scammers have caught on that people over 50 are a more financially viable target,” says Knowles.

South Africa is reportedly a preferred hub for online fraudsters. In 2021, eight suspects were arrested in Cape Town in connection with an online dating scam that conned more than R100 million from victims in various countries.

Online dating apps such as Tinder have heightened security features introducing incognito browsing, block profile, and “Long Press Reporting”.

The last feature allows users to report bad behaviour on the app by letting people tap, hold and report offensive messages immediately.

This simplifies the reporting process, ensuring creepy and offensive users get booted off the app faster.

© cronislaw/123rf.com

Not so easy to crack iffy online schemes

Knowles, who heads up Da Vinci Forensics, a cybersecurity and forensic company, says measures like this are not enough.

She says the psychological and emotional manipulation used by seasoned scammers – who often form part of a larger syndicate – makes for the perfect bait for lonely and vulnerable people.

Scammers are willing to pretend for several months and sometimes years to gain their victims’ trust, warns Knowles.

Through her line of work, she has observed how some syndicates study profiles, sometimes using algorithms to predict their interests and share the information amongst themselves.

Picture: © welcomia/123rf.com

Knowles outlines three popular tell-tale signs that you may be getting scammed.

  • Military or uniform scammers: this is a man or woman in uniform who has restricted time schedules that bar them from physically seeing you.

  • Secondly, the person will not want to meet you, either because of the above reason or because they are based overseas.

  • Lastly, they are extremely charming and caring. They often share very intimate information in an effort to try to mirror your life.

Online scams are becoming more sophisticated. The FBI reports that online romance scams have increased by nearly 25% since 2019, with those affected losing a record $547 million in 2021.

“The minute they ask for money, whether it’s R5 or R100, you should say ‘hasta la vista’ and you walk away,” suggests Knowles.

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