Dating Over 50: How to Avoid Online Dating Scammers
Online dating could be dangerous if you don’t know how to protect yourself. Are you aware of the safety precautions you need to take when meeting men online? Professional dating coach, Lisa Copeland, is here today to give us some tips how to avoid scammers. Enjoy the show!
My guest today is Lisa Copeland with Find a Quality Man. Lisa is a dating coach who deals exclusively with women over 50. Her mission in life is to help women attract and find good quality men. Lisa is also an expert on the one vehicle that we often use to find these men—online dating sites. I’ve got a question for you Lisa.
I’m so glad you’re here, because today’s question has come up a couple of times in articles that you have written for Sixty and Me. It has to do with the fear women have about security on online dating sites.
We want to make everyone feel positive about the opportunity those sites present, because you’ve told us it’s a great way to meet guys. However, I want you to share with us your experience with the not-so-good side—the people who try to take advantage of women online. Let’s have a short tutorial on that.
I know this is something that you are really passionate about, and you have such a great insight on how these guys operate.
Okay. Thanks! I’d be happy to share my experience because you hear about people getting scammed, and you think, “This would never happen to me. I would never fall for this!” Some of the most intelligent women have fallen for it.
Your vibrations travel across the seas to Africa, where most of these scammers are from. They see you as a very successful woman with a piece missing from your life. Maybe the piece is a man, or you’re feeling lonely, and you really want to find your soulmate.
When you pour your heart out like that, scammers see that as, “I’ve got one here.” It’s like reeling in a fish. They post fake pictures of themselves, featuring models. The philosophy behind that is, we all love to be next to the beautiful people.
Think about movie stars—everybody wants to touch them and be with them. It was the same way in junior high and in high school. You wanted the cool kids to love you, and you go ecstatic when they choose you.
It’s the same thing here. A seemingly gorgeous guy chooses you, and you go, “Oh my God! This is just who I’ve been looking for.” Except, he’s probably holding a bottle of wine or beer, has either sunglasses, a hat or a building behind him. Those are give-away clues you want to really look for because scammers usually use pictures of models selling products.
A scammer will get you right away to the phone because he cannot sustain the difficulty of the English language in written form. He gets you on the phone, and he spends hours talking to you. For the first time in a long time someone’s telling you you’re beautiful, you’re wonderful, you’re nice.
This is how they get you to share more and more of your vulnerabilities; who you are, the pain in your life. They ask you specific questions to get to that because they want to find your Achilles’ tendon. What is your biggest pain point?
Some people have just lost a parent, a child, a spouse. or a dog. Whatever it is, they will find your pain point. Then they will tell you they have it, too. They will empathize with you, and you will feel so understood and so bonded to this person that you will do anything for them.
At that point in the relationship, the scammer knows this, and they start with the, “I’m in the middle of a business deal, and I only need $10 000 more to close it. The bank can’t get it to me by Friday, and I don’t want to lose this opportunity. Do you think you can help me out?”
Women—and men, too, by the way, because this goes both ways—spend thousands upon thousands of dollars paying scammers. They do it because they feel their heart connection is so strong with this person, that he or she understands them.
You can understand that in some ways. If you’re a woman who’s been alone for many years, you are lonely. You’re living by yourself, so there’s no one to really talk to, no one to ask you even the basest of questions.
I found that is really significant in our community. People just want to have someone who can ask them, “How are you?” Somehow, it feels so significant when someone asks you that question, when you haven’t had that kind of intimacy in a while.
Compliments play a role, too. To be told you’re beautiful and amazing feels good, and they know that. But there is a way to avoid falling for this.
Okay, how do you do that? As we are talking here to our community, and people who are watching this video, I want to mention that you should not be freaked out by this. We’re taking some minutes here to talk about scamming because it is something that is in the real world.
Don’t let it put you off though, because with this bit of advice that Lisa’s going to give you, you’ll know what to do. So, Lisa, go ahead, and give us your tips for not falling for the scam.
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First of all, if their picture is too good to be true, it probably is. Make sure you look for the products. Second of all, you only want to stay between five to ten emails with any one, max.
Next thing is, you only want to talk on the phone once or twice. This way you won’t have long conversations with this guy. When you talk about meeting, he’ll say, “I’m on business.” Often they will use the place they live as, “I’m on business in Ghana,” or “I’m on business where ever it is in Africa, and I just can’t get back yet.”
If you haven’t met someone within two to three weeks, maximum, from the day this started, then you need to say to him, “Well, when you come back, then let’s meet up, but I need to end this now.”
You do not want to spend five hours on the phone with some guy; the most you would want to spend is maybe half hour to an hour. Also, try to keep it to one phone conversation and schedule a meeting. The longer they keep you on the phone, the more you reveal and the stronger you bond with them, because you feel understood.
Also, you feel sorry for them, and you feel you owe them something. Then it doesn’t feel right to say, “Let’s end it now,” or “I’m ending it now.” That’s how you take back power.
Yes. So many women that I work with say, “Oh my God. I have to tell him I need to be done with this, but I’m so afraid of hurting his feelings when I go.” I tell them, “You’re giving yourself up. You’re not honoring yourself first, and that’s what you really need to do.”
That’s a big problem for us. We’re so tender-hearted, we’re so nurturing, we’re so giving, we don’t want to hurt people. When you don’t honor yourself first though, you actually hurt yourself.
Excellent advice, Lisa. Do you have any articles you’ve written on this subject on your website? Should we direct people there?
Yes. We’ve got written articles about ghosting, scammers, all of that.
Ghosting? What people is that for?
They get you engaged and then disappear suddenly. Lisa’s website is fabulous. It’s findaqualityman.com. Go on there and check out the articles on the reality of online dating. Also, at the same time, take a look at all the cool things that she advises about online dating.
I know that you’re a huge fan. That’s how you met the great man in your life.
Yes, and I think online dating is great. I also have lots of clients meet men in real life, too. Whatever you do, remember that it is all skills. Most women think, “I’ve got to be born with this.” No, we’re not born to date, especially at this stage. Once you know what you’re doing, this is how you find someone.
I think it’s really interesting that women over 60 are doing something for themselves for the first time. Women in their 60’s haven’t normally had this opportunity to find friendship and love; it’s just not been the way of the world.
Now we’re creating a new territory here, and with that territory, come some dangers, including people who take advantage. But on the whole, we’re so lucky to have good health and good attitude to meet new people.
Online dating can be very safe; you just have to watch out for the scammers. The other thing is, you do need to get a guy’s last name and his phone number, and you do need to give it to a friend before you go on a date. Then, call your friend when you come back. It’s just like you tell your child to do; it’s about being safe.
Now that we can expand so far with online dating, we need to have some checks and balances. We can call a friend and say, “Do you know him?” That’s the way to play it safe. Online dating sites are a great place to meet a man you might have never met. If you just follow what I share about scammers: don’t stay on the phone too long and let people know where you are with a guy, you should really be okay.
I have ultimate confidence in you, Lisa. You’re a great leader. Please check out Lisa’s site, findaqualityman.com, and look for her articles on Sixty and Me. We love you, Lisa. Good to speak with you again.
How do you feel about scammers after this interview? Have you ever been targeted by such a person? Do you have any other safety suggestions you would like to share? Join the conversation!