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The Sweetheart Scam: Protecting Your Senior Relative Online

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One of the most common scams being used to target seniors is the sweetheart scam. This scam looks for older women who are looking for love online. If you notice that an elderly loved one has spent a lot of time online, consider looking at his or her browser history to determine whether he or she has been visiting a dating website. While there are many dating websites that have legitimate users, you will want to look for warning signs that the particular user your loved one is corresponding with is acting in bad faith.

From Online To Offline

Dating websites often have safeguards put in place that make it more difficult for scammers to rip off seniors. However, many scam artists will simply try to take the relationship offline. Ask your senior about who he or she has been meeting with so that you can dig up information on the love interest. For instance, if your senior is meeting with someone who allegedly has financial difficulties, this may be a warning sign of a scam.

How The Con Works

A common approach for scam artists is to ask a senior to provide a loan for a sudden emergency. The scam artist might claim that he or she has cancer. Depending on how confused your loved one is, the scam artist may even trick your senior into entering him or her into a will, handing over access to a bank account or use the senior's home as a place to live. Usually, the scam artist will claim that he or she wants access to financial accounts simply to help the senior manage his or her money.

The Role Of Social Media

Pay attention to who your loved one is friends with on social media. If you do not recognize someone, inquire about who he or she is. Many scam artists locate seniors on social media forums because these platforms provide a wealth of information helpful in evaluating a particular target. Make sure that your loved one's privacy settings for each social media website are set to the highest.

The Profile Of A Victim

Scam artists are most likely to target seniors who have children who have already moved out. The goal is to not have anyone who may notice and speak up about the scam. Both men and women, heterosexual and homosexual, have been targeted. If you are having a difficult time following your loved ones activities, consider working with a tech support specialist, like Bask, who can guide you through the installation and usage of monitoring software.