Exploitation of Older People in Online Dating

In the age of online dating it can be very difficult to find out who you are actually talking to. Hence the popular term “catfishing” or the process of luring someone into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona. While younger generations have mastered the ability to point out when images have been doctored and people are not actually who they say they are, older people have not.

In the United States alone, hundreds of older people are scammed for thousands of dollars and personal identification (such as their social security numbers) every year. A quick google search or a scroll through reddit will pop up with titles such as “Elderly mother is getting catfished. How do I stop it?” and “80-year-old widower in Oregon loses $200K in catfish romance scam.” Just a few examples show the exploitation of the older generation, just because they are not tech savvy enough to identify when they are being lied to.

So, how do we stop this exploitation? Is it their own fault for not recognizing the signs? Or, is there something we can implement in online dating platforms to fix it?

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