AARP CT joins efforts to end online dating scams

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WASHINGTON, D.C. and HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — AARP Connecticut and local Fraud Watch partners are asking seniors to be aware of online dating scams.

Today, AARP’s Fraud Watch Network called on the online dating industry to better protect their users by implementing better safeguards.

Romance scammers use the Internet to rob an estimated $81 million from Americans per year, according to a 2013 report from the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

The Fraud Watch Network is asking online dating sites to take the following anti-fraud measures to help decrease the number of losses:

  • Employ algorithms to detect suspicious language patterns used by scammers.
  • Search for fake profiles across multiple dating websites.
  • Issue alerts to any member who has been in contact with someone using a fraudulent profile.
  • Educate members with tips on how to avoid romance scammers.

“Individual scammers and highly organized groups attempt to steal hearts and wallets from online dating site users every day,” said Nora Duncan, AARP state director in Connecticut. “Most sites don’t yet do enough to protect their members from known scammers.”

As a part of its campaign, the AARP Fraud Network has posted tips to help dating site members avoid scams.

AARP CT is inviting members and the general public to become in the national campaign by signing an online petition.

Connecticut consumers can learn more at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.

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