Dating site registration women
31, 2014, nearly 6,000 people registered complaints of such confidence fraud with losses of .3 million, according to the federal Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Older people are ideal targets because they often have accumulated savings over a lifetime, own their homes and are susceptible to being deceived by someone intent on fraud.
Most victims say they are embarrassed to admit what happened, and they fear that revealing it will bring derision from their family and friends, who will question their judgment and even their ability to handle their own financial affairs.“That would ruin my reputation in my community,” said a woman from Pensacola, Fla., who spoke on condition of anonymity.
She lost 2,000, she said, to a man she met online in late 2013, but she has kept it secret from her family and friends. Brown, 68, a nurse in a pediatrician’s office in Burlington, Vt., also hid the fact she had been defrauded online.
The highest reported loss in the state was 3,000.
Swindlers can gain access to the lovelorn by hacking into a dormant dating profile and altering such information as age, gender and occupation, according to Vermont investigators.
After contacting a possible victim, the swindler tries to avoid detection on the dating site by insisting that communications shift to email, telephone or instant message.
Typically, the Internet swindler says he speaks English because he has lived in Europe or the United States and is working as a contractor or builder in Malaysia or another country where he encounters trouble with local authorities.
Farquhar, who is the section’s chief of the intellectual property and cyberenabled crimes. has personnel in a number of countries, including Nigeria and Ghana, where Internet romance swindlers operate.She said she had tried several dating sites, including e Harmony.com, because, “After my husband died, I had no spouse to talk to.”Then in 2012, on Match.com, she met a man who called himself Thomas.He said he was a road contractor in Maine and was about to leave for a business venture in Malaysia.“At first it made sense, but then he started asking me for money to cover expenses like work permits,” she said.The AARP network recommends that from the beginning, dating site members use Google’s “search by image” to see if the suitor’s picture appears on other sites with different names.If an email from “a potential suitor seems suspicious, cut and paste it into Google and see if the words pop up on any romance scam sites,” the network advised.
Her reaction to losing almost $300,000 to the swindler: “I blame myself.