"Welcome to Senior Dating - the site I created to help Seniors
find Love and Companionship on the Internet - the right way! You’ll find
reviews of the best senior dating sites as well as tips and advice to help you get the most from your dating experience and enhance your life!" Kathy Damer, Editor.

Internet Dating: Is it just a big scam?

senior woman datingRecently I received this comment from Lee on my article "How to Know When You Are Being Scammed": "I feel they are ALL SCAMS. Female and male alike on these things are out to steal your money not your heart. I have learned to accept being alone and just worry about my cats and the next day. If it happens, it will happen. Save your money and what is left of your heart!"

As humans we are generally not programmed to desire loneliness, but obviously Lee has had a bad experience with online dating to make a defeatist comment such as this. But something still managed to bring Lee to my site, so perhaps Lee isn't in the final inning of the game of love just yet.

It's true that we don't have to look too far to know about scammers. They seem to be everywhere nowadays; looking to take financial advantage of anyone they can get their hooks into and seniors are sadly the most common victims of con artists because most seniors live alone.

They call our homes pretending to be relatives in distress needing money to bail them out, they show up at our doors selling services that never get delivered once our money has been paid, they distract us in grocery stores and steal our wallets and the list goes on.

And then there are the lowest of the low who will use the pretence of romance (both on the internet and in person) to woo their way into our bank accounts and then slither back under their rocks leaving us poorer, broken hearted and feeling used and stupid. It is truly sad what we are up against. And as the global economy worsens, there will be more scam artists out there so we need to be more on our guard than ever.

Does this mean that every single person who signs up for dating sites is a con man /woman? No more than it means that everyone who shows up at our door is trying to burglarize our home. There are hundreds of thousands of legitimate romance and companionship seekers who end up being successful with relationships and there is no reason to believe you can't be one of them — as long as you know how to be cautious.

Fortunately we have the internet — the most amazing technological advancement of the last twenty years – which can bring people together from all over the world. Most dating sites are safe and I certainly recommend the most reputable ones on this site, which will charge you to become a member. But understanding how to use a computer and how to surf the net is not enough to guarantee that you won't come across the occasional fraudster — even on the most reputable dating sites. Everyone is a stranger until you really get to know them, whether you are meeting someone online, or in person at a club, a class, a bar or anywhere.

Kathy's suggestions:

(1) Take it SLOW. Be patient about meeting someone. If they are the genuine article they will have similar concerns about you being genuine too. If the person is pushy about meeting you too soon this is not a good sign. Move on, even if you're developing feelings. Easier to cut loose now than when it's too late.

(2) Be extremely cautious and patient about giving out your home phone number and address. If you want to talk to the person beyond instant messaging, suggest using an online telephoning system like Skype (which cannot be traced to your address) which can also be used in conjunction with a webcam, so you can see who you are actually speaking with. My best advice is only give out your address and phone number once you have done this first.

(3) NEVER (and there are NO exceptions) give personal information about yourself (banking and investment info, business info, social insurance or social security numbers, driver's licence)

(4) NEVER give out money — no matter how genuine the cause seems or how much pressure someone puts on you. Career con artists know exactly what to say to put a guilt trip on you and will usually connect it to how much you mean to them.

I know many people who have made successful connections on reputable dating sites on the internet who have never encountered a problem with anyone they have met. I truly believe that most people out there are just like you — genuinely looking for love and companionship. Please keep these pointers in mind when you join a dating site but think of them like the rules of the road that you learned when you learned to drive. They are intended to keep you safe but not prevent you from reaching your destination and having some fun along the way. The person of your dreams could be right around the next bend!

6 Responses to “Internet Dating: Is it just a big scam?”

  1.  donald humphrey says:

    l enjoyed your comments

    Posted on 05-Feb-12 at 3:24 am | Permalink
  2.  Deb Craddock says:

    I think that for many seniors, we have been out of the dating scene for so long that we revert back to what we remember dating was when we were teenagers, and this is not the case. Many suitors have their own agenda, whether it be looking for a sexual partner, just a friend, or want to go with someone on a trip that they have planned. There are some who have so much emotional baggage from their previous marriages and relationships that they are permanently damaged and need to have intensive therapy before even considering themselves a suitable partner for anyone! The laws of physical attraction still apply and I find that this is the toughest of them all for me. I want a partner who can still do hiking and swimming and walking and biking and boating, etc. and many are just not healthy enough. The other thing I have noticed is that at our age everyone will have some sort of physical or medical issue and we have to be able to accept this and overlook some of these things in order allow the positive attributes of a new love into our lives.

    Posted on 10-Jul-12 at 9:03 am | Permalink
  3.  Marie Holmes says:

    Thank you for the sound tips to avoid dating scams.

    Posted on 15-Aug-12 at 5:09 pm | Permalink
  4.  Rachelle says:

    This is a topic that's near to my heart… Thank you! Exactly where are your contact details though?

    Posted on 18-Jul-13 at 7:23 am | Permalink
  5.  Mike. says:

    Great article well written the same way messages are written by "woman" prying and scamming men with so many promises of love and never been alone again, beautiful photo's of themselves and then the overseas trip to buy jewelry (Malaysia) and short of money.

    I have encountered two such instances so my question is who do we hold responsible for this?

    Does the so called Dating site not screen each candidate and where is the privacy that is guaranteed, so how do the "SCAMMERS" get onto the site, who do we blame, the poor bugger that has paid to try and find compatibility and left out to dry when being scammed.

    If there is anyone out there that has been "scammed" like myself I would love to know because I would like to take this matter further even if I have to contact the local TV Stations, because twice is enough and no more date site……….. what a scam, shame on you.

    Posted on 18-Nov-14 at 6:57 pm | Permalink
  6.  Kathy Damer says:

    Hi Mike – From what I gather you see me as the enemy here! That's a shame because I know I'm helping create awareness of a problem that people absolutely need to know about. Its a shame that you have been burned but I guarantee you that there are thousands out there that have found long-lasting and fulfilling relationships online – despite what you believe. Yes there are scammers – and not just from third world countries but from our own country – and as long as you are aware of what to look for, your chances of falling into their web of deceit is much less than jumping in totally blind. This information is something that I hope becomes second nature to internet daters in order to help them avoid the heartache that you have been through. Unfortunately there are no guarantees with anything in life and it would be wise to keep in mind that scammers exist not just online but anywhere – even the nice woman you bump into in the supermarket or in the park walking your dog may be looking for her next target – so keep your eyes wide open, Mike, but don't give up on finding love.

    Posted on 19-Nov-14 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

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About This Site

Kathy Damer studied Sociology at University and has worked as a marketing executive in the Retirement and Senior care industries for many years. Kathy has a deep understanding of the issues unique to senior dating and relationships and has been featured on the radio.

Kathy founded senior-dating.org as a way to provide free advice and resources for anyone looking to enter the world of senior dating. Please feel free to send Kathy your questions, comments and suggestions for topics that you would like to see covered.

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