Dating has changed a lot over the centuries, and in keeping with the times most people are using technology in their search for The One. Almost 60% of Americans say that online dating is a good way to meet people, up from less than 45% in 2005. Online dating users tend to be younger - 90% are under 40 and 75% are under 30, but even 10% are over the age of 55. Unfortunately with anything online comes scams and the potential to be hacked, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find the love of your life as long as you are careful.
Less than half of a percent of online daters will experience a dating scam, but it’s still important to know what’s out there so you don’t get taken advantage of. In 2016 a Japanese woman sent her online boyfriend, whom she believed to be a U.S. Army Captain stationed in Syria, over $200,000, leaving her nearly bankrupt. She eventually discovered he didn’t even exist and was instead a network of hackers and cyber-scammers operating in Los Angeles and Nigeria.
This is an extreme example. In 2018, the average loss from online romance scams was $2600, but older users tend to get taken for more. Those over 70 have an average loss of $10,000.
In order to avoid online dating scams, it’s important to take the following precautions:
- Don’t include personal or identifying information on online dating profiles
- Ensure your social media accounts don’t contain any of this information, either
- Only use trusted and verified dating sites
- Verify your match’s identity by cross-checking photos to be sure they aren’t stolen from the internet
- Do a background check on anyone you are serious about
- Do not send money to anyone
Hackers and scammers can target you anywhere, especially if you are being vulnerable. Learn more about how romance scams happen and how to protect yourself and find true love below from Our Dating Journey: