Dating in the Dark!
Today more Americans are turning to dating websites in search love and companionship. The Pew Research Center study revealed that nearly 60 percent of U.S. adults consider online dating a good way to meet people, and Match.com, one of the most popular dating sites, says people 50 and older represent its fastest-growing share of users. But seeking romantic bliss online can have a major downside: Cyberspace is full of scammers eager to take advantage of lonely hearts.
The con artist will post on a dating site and appears to be a promising match — tall-dark & handsome, educated, personable and honest. However, this potential mate is not a local resident, they live in another part of the country or in transit for business or a military deployment. But he or she seems interested and eager to get to know you better, and suggests you move your relationship to a private channel like email or a chat app.
After several weeks or months you feel yourself growing closer. Yet for some reason your scheduled meetups/get together plans never happen. Then you get an urgent request. There’s an emergency (a medical problem, perhaps, or a business crisis), and your online companion needs you to wire money quickly. He or she will promise to pay it back, but that will never happen. Instead, the scammer will keep asking for more until you finally realize you’ve been had.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than 21,300 reports of romance scams in 2018, up 250 percent from three years earlier. Reported losses totaled $143 million, the most for any type of consumer fraud. The older the victim, the heavier the financial toll, according to the FTC — the median individual loss for people aged 70 and over was $10,000, compared to $2,600 for all victims.
How many victims would have been protected using eZverifi? How many scammers would have agreed to be eZverified know they were providing a digital footprint of who they were? Or, how many scammers would not have accepted the invitation to be eZverifi or even been approved?
“eZverifi… before you buy!”