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How to Avoid Senior Dating Scams, According to a Professional Dating Coach

By Sixty and Me January 31, 2017 Dating

We all want love in our lives, no matter what age we are! But maintaining healthy relationships – romantic and otherwise – becomes even more important in our 50s, 60s and beyond.

So, how do you put yourself out there and make new connections in the over-50 dating scene?

Online dating sites! These sites are a great resource for finding relationships of any nature – romantic, friendship, fun, serious, casual – you name it, you can find it online!

But online dating sites can also be dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions.

We’re joined today by professional dating coach, Lisa Copeland, who deals exclusively with women over 50. She’s here to offer some tips that can help us safely navigate and enjoy the world of online dating over 50.

Let’s see what advice she has for us!


Understanding Senior Dating Scams: What Do Scammers Want?

Scammers are an unfortunate reality of the online dating world. They are people, generally men, whose main goal is to take advantage of vulnerable women. Many of these scammers communicate from overseas, often various locations in Africa, and have a very specific purpose for reaching out to you.

What do they want? Generally, they’re looking to scam you out of money by appealing to your innate desire to find love. And they are quite skilled at doing it.

You may be thinking, “I would never fall for that!” But Lisa warns that, sadly, we are all susceptible. Some of the most intelligent women out there have fallen for one of these online scams.

It can be a tricky – not to mention, heartbreaking – situation. Scammers are masterful at forging a connection with you and making you feel loved and understood. This is precisely how they reel you in, hook you and eventually catch you.

Each year, women (and sometimes men) spend thousands and thousands of dollars falling for and paying manipulative online dating site scammers.

But with some pointed tips from Lisa, you can avoid falling into one of these dangerous scams.

Avoiding Dating Scams Tip #1: Examine the Profile Photo

The first step to spotting an online scammer is by carefully examining their picture. If their profile photo seems too good to be true it probably is. Often, scammers use stock photos of models for their profile pictures.

Look for specific props commonly seen in these types of photos. Perhaps the man is holding a bottle of wine or beer, wearing sunglasses, sporting a fancy hat or standing in front of a beautiful building. These are dead giveaways that the photo is a fake.

Step #2: Appropriate Emailing

Lisa advises keeping the emails between five to 10 maximum with any one person. There’s a fine line between emailing too much and too little.

Many scammers will try to avoid emailing altogether because they cannot sustain the difficulty of the English language in written form. They will attempt to get you on the phone right away.

On the other hand, too much emailing can also be a sign that you’re dealing with a scammer. They want to avoid the cost and time that comes with speaking on the phone.

Use your best judgement and be mindful of how many emails you exchange before moving to the phone and meeting in-person.

Step #3: Phone Etiquette

Lisa advises only speaking on the phone once or twice. Keep the conversations brief, as you have hopefully already done a lot of the get-to-know-you pleasantries via email.

Phone conversations should last no more than thirty minutes to an hour. The main goal for speaking on the phone should be setting up an in-person meeting.

If you suggest meeting in person and he responds with, “I’m on business in (insert various locations),” you should proceed with caution.

The best way to respond to this type of comment is by saying, “Well, when you come back, then let’s meet up, but I need to end this now.”

If you’ve been speaking with someone online and/or on the phone for two or (maximum) three weeks, it’s definitely time to meet in person.

Remember, phone conversations that last too long put you at risk for revealing precious information about yourself. It can be tough to tell someone that you must move on for fear of hurting their feelings. But Lisa reminds us that honoring ourselves always must be our top priority.

Don’t Let Senior Dating Scams Put You Off-line

Even with all the dangers of scammers, Lisa is still a big fan of online dating. She encourages us to not be put off by online dating just because of the scammers that do exist.

Yes, there are scammers out there who may try to take advantage of you. But there are also thousands of really amazing, quality men to be met online!

By following the advice that Lisa has shared and sharpening your online dating skills, you can safely and successfully date online and enjoy the vast world of possibilities that it offers.

One last bit of advice that Lisa offers – when you plan to meet a man in person, it’s important to get his last name and phone number prior to meeting him. Give this information to a friend or family member before your date and make sure that to check in with that friend or family member when the date ends.

If you want to know more about online dating, check out Lisa’s website for some wonderful articles and advice about the reality of online dating.

Do you think that it is possible to find love after 60? Has anyone that you know been the victim of a senior dating scam? Do you have any other safety suggestions you would like to share? Join the conversation!

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The Author

Sixty and Me is a community of over 500,000 women over 60 founded by Margaret Manning. Our editorial team publishes articles on lifestyle topics including fashion, dating, retirement and money.

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