An AARP study he co-authored last year found that Internet fraud victims had experienced significantly more negative life events in the previous two years than non-victims.
Related: Multiracial Asian Americans 'Most Popular' in Online Dating: Study A 53-year-old grandmother from California recently learned how these confidence men (and women) play on the vulnerabilities of lonely singles.
Although older adults are often targeted — more than three-quarters of complaints to federal agencies came from people 40 and older — fraud experts say people of all ages and backgrounds can fall prey to romance scams.
For thousands of people each year, the search for love online ends not just with a broken heart, but an empty bank account.
So-called romance scams — in which fraudsters smother victims with professions of love then plead for large “loans” to cover invented emergencies — appear to be on the rise, according to federal law enforcement and fraud experts.
A few months after her husband’s death in 2012, Joanna — who asked her real name not be used to protect her privacy — went on looking for the soul mate she’d never had in her troubled marriage.
She soon got a message from a man who said he was a widowed engineer from Colorado.