Ghanaian dating scams
We've all heard of on-line dating scams that try to get you to send money to someone in Ghana or Nigeria.But now, the number of people falling for those scams is growing at an alarming number.New statistics out for the last six months of 2014 show, more than 6,400 Americans say they were scammed after visiting online dating sites in the second half of last year.
Many of those being targeted are senior citizens longing to get back in the dating pool."I got lonely and I spent a lot of time on the computer playing games, and I just happened to go to the date site," Janet Cook told us.
When Janet Cook went looking for love online, 17 years after losing her husband, she found someone on the very first day."I liked him you know because he said sweet things and he was very charming and had a kind of a gentle demeanor about him," Cook said.
After four months of courtship including emails and phone calls, but never meeting in person, the man who claimed to be a contractor from Virginia was suddenly stuck somewhere in Africa and in serious trouble. "I was really worried about him, I thought the man was going to die."The money started to add up and before Janet realized she was being swindled the 76-year-old widow was out roughly $300,000."These are people who have worked so hard for their savings and now they are giving it all away to the romance scammers," Barbara Hannah Gufferman with the AARP explained.
"According to the story, he became very ill and he was in the hospital. Her organization is now warning members that seniors are a prime target for online dating scams."The studies show that as you get older, your ability to decipher deceit declines," Gufferman noted.
"That means as you get older you have to be even more vigilant."Aside from social security and a reverse mortgage check, Janet Cook works part-time as a church secretary to supplement her modest income.
She's now trying to recoup some of her lost savings from match.com, the site where the scammer found her.
declined a request for an interview, but in a statement to CBS This Morning the company said it takes scams very seriously, which includes monitoring and preventing fraud every step of the way.
They also claim to use sophisticated technology to identify fraudulent behavior and prohibit users from countries where scammers operate.
The rate at which the scams are happening is high, according to observers."Well, Americans, over the last six months of 2014 amazingly enough, lost over million," Gufferman answered.
While that is a lot of money, it may not be the true total, she said."That's what's been reported," Gufferman said.
"There are a lot of people out there who are not reporting when they've been scammed because it's embarrassing."AARP said the online scammers share common traits.