Here is an interesting paper, which would be worth reading and digesting:
"This article assesses 3,259 romance fraud reports made by individuals to Scamwatch (Australian online reporting portal for fraud), between July 2018 – July 2019 (inclusive). It seeks to highlight experiences of fear of crime as articulated by the complainants. Drawing on frameworks used to analyze fear of crime (specifically the affective, behavioral and cognitive aspects of fear) the article is an exploratory assessment of how fear of crime is evident in those targeted by romance fraud. It builds a model for better understanding differing victim responses to romance fraud and the often-hidden harms involved around the anxieties of victims which importantly, can manifest in both online and offline environments."
I work part-time at a senior's centre (ages 55+). Some of the folk (both men and women will ask to talk to me separately as they know I have some Security experience. I do security awareness training for seniors in the area.
The stories that I hear are terrifying. Men that will write wonderful love letters to women that they have never meant, profess their undying love, etc. and then ultimately the request for $$$ as they are stuck somewhere. It's the same story with the gents. I advise them that they need to review a number of resources (sometimes I help them locate information) while with others I provide websites for them to reference.
I have often thought about writing an article that will help these folks and others as I know these scammers also target younger folk.
Yet another type of scam for senior citizens is where a grandchild calls crying using a borrowed phone. The details are something like this- they got into a car accident, have been arrested by police and need bail money within an hour to stay out of jail. Otherwise, it will go on their permanent record.
Once the grandparents have withdrawn money from the bank, the scammer posing as court appointed attorney would give them further instructions where to wire the money.
From what I hear, it is very common in Florida where there is a large population of seniors.
I watched a documentary recently about romance scams. In one of the examples shown, the scammers used recorded TV footage of a South American soap opera as part of the scam.
As an example, the scammers would contact vulnerable older ladies pretending to be a handsome older gentleman using pictures of one of the actors from the TV show. Given the targets were from the UK, they wouldn't have known the South American actor whose image was being used.
After the initial introduction through online dating sites, the scammers would just converse with the ladies and use images taken from the TV show to legitimise what they were saying looking to build rapport. Such as saying it was their birthday today and showing images from the soap opera showing them celebrating their birthday.
As the relationship went on they would start asking for money for various things. Eventually this culminated in the scammers saying they had fallen seriously ill and needed a lot of money to help them get better. This was backed up by footage from the TV show showing them lying in a hospital bed hooked up to various life prolonging devices!