Newly single 50-plus women can make naive targets for unscrupulous men
By Tom Blake
Most age 50-plus women who have been single for a while are pretty darn savvy when it comes to dating. However, women who have just become single often are naïve about dating, and it can cost them money and embarrassment. Four newly single women shared their experiences by email this week.
Woman No. 1 joined seniorfriendfinder.com this May and soon was duped by a scammer. “He is in Pretoria, Johannesburg, South Africa. His name is Charles Roberts, and he claims he is a private contractor. I believed his story and through his sweet and convincing ways I fell for him,” she said.
Although she had never met him, she sent him $6,000 via Western Union before coming to her senses. Here’s the foolish part. “I still care for him and have forgiven him,” she said.
Is she serious? She still cares for someone she’s never met who got $6,000 of her money?
Woman No. 2 wrote, “I signed up with a national company, Elite Matchmaking (Los Angeles). The contract is a no-refund contract and it cannot be disputed with the credit card company.”
“The cost varies. I paid $4,000; some members pay $25,000. I was lured with a picture of an attractive, sophisticated man, but when matched with him, he was married with an ill wife. I had no dates.”
“I have a new matchmaker and still have had no dates.”
How much money will she pay to matchmaking services before she realizes she’s wasting her money?
Woman No. 3, who is in divorce proceedings, signed up with dating website ourtime.com a month ago. She was contacted by a man masquerading as an Army Staff Sergeant, based in Afghanistan. She said, “He asked for a laptop for his son living in Africa, money, men’s cologne and two pairs of expensive tennis shoes. I sent $100 to an address in Ghana.”
Now, she’s worried: “I am so ashamed and now am afraid because the money transfer had my address on it. He might come after me since he knows where I live.”
Woman No. 4, age 61, said, “I just met someone online who lives miles away.
“I purchased a webcam so we can see each other when we’re on the phone. He wants to see me at least twice a day. He likes very much what he sees. He is a retired psychologist. He says I am his phone wife and soon to be his real wife.”
She added, “He is making plans to travel next month to meet me and my family. Is it a chance I have to take? And if I don’t?”
I told her to not let him visit yet. He is coming on way too strong. “Phone wife and soon-to-be real wife?” Ridiculous. There’s a reason he can’t find a nice woman where he lives.
These four naïve women are so lonely and vulnerable they sacrifice money and/or take foolish risks to be with men they don’t know. That’s dangerous. There are scammers on every online dating site, especially the sites that cater to seniors. These women need to learn the dating-after-50 ropes to avoid future mistakes.
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Tom Blake is a San Clemente resident and Dana Point business owner who has authored three books on middle-aged dating. For dating information: www.findingloveafter50.com.