Online Dating for Seniors: Staying Safe

If you’re a single senior you may be interested in jumping back into the dating scene. After all, it’s wonderful to live life with a caring partner. Whether you’re divorced or widowed, if you are sufficiently healed and ready to trust again, then online dating may be for you.

But, even if you’re tech-savvy, you may have concerns when it comes to dating again. Aside from the fact that it may have been a while and you have a few butterflies in the stomach when you think about first dates, there are more serious considerations.

Every year people get scammed via online dating sites. The fault is usually not that of the site itself, but the real danger is unscrupulous people using these sites as ways to troll for unsuspecting victims.

The Best Senior Dating Sites

The best online sites for dating at any age are easy to use and allow you the chance to build a profile and “test the waters” before paying any fees.

Then you’ll begin the process of screening candidates and finding matches. You’ll want to project self-confidence without boasting, be honest without over-sharing, and be ready to learn to know another human being who is, most probably, also desiring companionship.

The top-rated sites for those over 50 are:

Match.com, Elite Singles, eHarmony, OurTime.com, Christian Mingle and Senior People Meet. These sites have proved safe over time and maintain high ratings from users. They have a good profile verification process and fraud detection systems in place. They also have 24/7 customer service teams.

But before you even fill out that profile, there are some things you should know.

What to Watch Out For

When unscrupulous people use dating websites to find their victims, their motive is money. They may be interacting with dozens of people at a time, grooming them and building trust so they can, at just the right moment, ask for money.

They may say they want to visit you, but can’t afford the travel. They may ask for help with a business deal or feign an illness that requires treatment. Most of these scam artists are located in Africa and are quite adept at their deceptions.

Here’s how you can protect yourself:

Check out the profile picture. Scam artists don’t use their own photos, but find a model-like character to use. If the picture is just too good to be true, it probably is a fake. Look for products or sets that would be used by a model.

A scam artist often wants to leave the dating site and communicate by private e-mail or telephone calls almost immediately. This is a warning sign.

Beware if the person says they’re traveling out of the country, but will be home soon.

Watch for grammatical errors in written language or foreign accents on telephone conversations.

Many scam artists say they’re younger than the person they want to date, looking for victims with more money.

Beware of inconsistencies in their stories over time. These scammers are often willing to “talk” with a victim for many months before asking for money.

Beware of those who say they’re self-employed business people.

Remember the scammer is trying to build trust, but also to be seen as someone needing support and help. They will groom their victim and offer the interest and caring everyone needs and wants.

Be careful if the person claims to have the same past experiences as you, in an attempt to bond.

Trust your “gut” feelings. As much as you may desire a new relationship, you certainly don’t want to be used and scammed.

If it’s time to begin searching once again for a life partner, or a companion, move into it with your eyes open. Online dating sites are great places to meet new people as long as you’re armed with the awareness of the dangers that can arise when unscrupulous people prey on others. Be strong, be wise and be safe.

For further information on senior dating sites see: Senior Online Dating. To read more about online dating scams, see Scams.

juliet

Askgranny... All you need to know about dating, discounts, fitness, freebies, games, gifts, grandchildren, health, indoor and outdoor activities, internet safety, travel for the over 50s, over 60s, parents and grandparents. Why not Ask Granny Guru a question? Juliet Hambro on Google+