On Wednesday, Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, pledged to tackle the problem of scamming head-on. We hope this will significantly improve internet security, particularly with social media and search engine companies being held accountable for preventing fraudsters from using their platforms to scam unsuspecting individuals.
Unfortunately, no one is entirely safe from these scammers, who are truly the worst of the worst. They don't care about stealing your hard-earned money, and it's heartbreaking to see how single people, especially those in mid and later life, are targeted due to their loneliness and vulnerability.
It's a manipulative and insidious process. Victims are left feeling special and excited by the daily calls and loving messages they receive, only to have their self-esteem shattered when they realise they've been taken advantage of. It's easy to get sucked into these conversations, particularly when you've been alone for a while. But the impact is devastating when the scammer disappears, leaving you robbed and vulnerable.
This issue particularly concerns me as someone who specialises in Romance Fraud. Seeing how these scammers can form warm, loving relationships with their victims only to exploit them for their money is devastating. Scammers scour social media profiles to identify vulnerabilities, such as the death of a loved one and then exploit these insecurities to gain their victim's trust.
The Impact of Online Dating Scammers on Older Adults. The excitement and anticipation of potentially meeting someone new through online dating quickly turn into feelings of vulnerability, loneliness, and shame for many older adults who have fallen victim to scammers.
These negative experiences can lead to depression and other severe consequences, making it difficult for affected individuals to trust again.
These fraudsters have become increasingly sophisticated, even for those who believe they are savvy enough to spot scammers. As a result, it's essential to be extra diligent when dating online and take steps to identify potential scammers, such as:
Reverse search images on Google by dragging and dropping them into the image search box on images.google.com
Use a Chrome extension to search images on Google by right-clicking on an image found online.
Check out other helpful resources for photo verification, such as; Tin Eye reverse image search.
http://imageedited.com Poynter's "Three ways to spot if an image has been manipulated."
Remember these key points:
Always verify the images provided by potential partners.
If you've been scammed, know you are not alone, and others have experienced similar situations.
Don't blame yourself for being scammed. Everyone makes mistakes; the best thing you can do is learn from them and move on.
Melinda and I are committed to supporting singles who may be unable to afford our services.
We have recently launched our first e-book:
"How to Avoid Romance Fraud for Singles Mid-Life & Later-In-Life",
Containing all the necessary information and resources to help you stay safe.
Please download it at www.select-connections.com to learn more essential tips and tools to stay safe online and how to spot a scammer before getting hurt.