Post-divorce daters beware: Online scams booming

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Divorce on Wednesday, February 15, 2012

There’s that first date. Then romance. Then love and marriage. Then divorce. And then there’s dating again.

It’s a cycle many here in St. Louis have gone through. A relatively new part of the age-old cycle is the online dating services that are doing booming business, according to media reports.

The popular site says people aged 50 and above — many of them divorced — represent a quarter of its membership.

However, as business grows for the sites, so do the number of complaints about the services.

The Better Business Bureau says complaints are skyrocketing. A federal class action lawsuit pending against alleges that more than 60 percent of the personal profiles listed on the site are bogus — a charge the site’s owners vehemently deny as an “unfounded allegation in a money-seeking litigation.”

Even worse are the widespread reports that some people looking for love online are being stripped of their money by would-be suitors.

In fact, the Better Business Bureau last year listed online dating sites as one of its top 10 scams of 2011.

Among those most vulnerable to the scammers are baby boomers who find themselves single after years of marriage. They left the dating scene decades ago and now, past the age of 50, are looking for another shot at love.

In many cases, that’s just what they find in an online dating service: Dates with a compatible companion that blossom into full-fledged romance. In other cases, they find themselves short thousands of dollars “loaned” (or given) to scammers who feign love and then illness or calamity to wheedle money from the lonely.

The old saying still holds true: buyer beware.

Source: Huffington Post: “Online Dating Scams: Buyers Beware,” Ann Brenoff, Feb. 14, 2012

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