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Romance ScamsRomance Scams| Jane Juska| Dancing The Night Away

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Romance Scams| Jane Juska| Dancing The Night Away

 

ROMANCE SCAMS

The Internet can be a useful tool for dating later in life, but Americans are losing millions of dollars due to online dating scams. Many seniors fall prey to the sneaky techniques Internet thieves use from behind their computer screens. Suzanne discovers ways to protect ourselves from the dangers of romance scammers.

AARP Consumer Advocate Mary Bach is no stranger to the dangers of romance scams – unfortunately, she’s seen it too many times. Suzanne and Mary discuss a scenario in which a daughter walks in the room as her father is getting off the phone. In the scene, the daughter expresses concern after learning her father has never met the other caller, “Jessica,” face-to-face. The father also gave “Jessica,” a potential scammer, his credit card information to pay for her flight to meet in person. Fortunately, the daughter senses red flags and immediately encourages her father to put a hold on his credit card. 

Dating websites are an amazing tool to meet other people, but should be used with caution. Scammers have the ability to hide behind fake profiles and persuade other users into believing they are someone they’re not – and typically, money is the motive. Romance scamming is a crime that is rarely reported; most people are embarrassed when they discover that the “love of their life” is really a con-artist. Mary says that the biggest red flag is when a user you’ve “befriended” asks for money or credit card information. She stresses that we never provide a credit card number to a person we don’t know. Another red flag is the inability to meet in person due to distance or lack of transportation. We can avoid being scammed by keeping certain information private - like our street address or last name. Relatives should be vigilant and aware of their loved ones on the Internet, and make sure that money is never sent to strangers. In the father-daughter scenario, the daughter made a smart decision to advise her dad to put a hold on his credit card. If someone sends money to another person and does not get the desired results, Mary encourages contacting the local police department, the Attorney General’s office and the Federal Trade Commission to report the crime. No matter the circumstance, people need to be careful when using online dating websites. There are many legitimate dating websites that have seen happy endings, but there are also many scam artists that abuse the Internet. While romance scams shouldn’t put an end to your search for love on the internet, it should encourage you to be smart while finding that soul mate.

JANE JUSKA – “A ROUND-HEELED WOMAN”

67-year-old Jane Juska was living life as a retired English teacher, but she certainly wasn’t ready to retire in the bedroom. After putting out a personal advertisement seeking sex, Jane wrote two books about her romantic adventures: “A Round-Heeled Woman,” and “My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance.” Suzanne sits with Jane to learn more about her wild sex-capades and the motives behind them.

After watching a film about a woman who placed an ad in the newspaper seeking a male companion, Jane left the theater feeling empowered. “I could do that!” she said… and she did! Jane’s advertisement read, “Before I turn 67 years old, I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like.” The advertisement received 65 replies, and Jane separated them into three piles: “Yes,” “No,” and “Maybe.” She started contacting the men from her “Yes” pile, and her first encounter was with a man from Washington, D.C. 

Jane went to New York and continued meeting other men. Even she knew that her plan was radical, but she was willing to take on the risks. Over a couple of weeks, Jane became intimate with about 5 men, the youngest being 32! Most people would consider having sex with an older woman “taboo,” and many would think Jane was crazy to engage in casual sex at 67 years old… but Jane loved this idea of pushing customary boundaries. Suzanne learns of the many great things that came from Jane’s adventures; not only did she become a serious writer, but she has made amazing acquaintances for life. Unfortunately, it’s no surprise that there was some heart break. Jane says, “You can’t just take the good parts only. It comes with the good, the bad and the in-between.” She didn’t worry about falling in love, but she did… and it was a disaster. When it came to STD’s, Jane and her partners were sure to take the proper precautions. She always worried about getting undressed in front of other men, especially with her younger partners. She learned that men are much more forgiving of women than women are, which she came to love and appreciate. 

When people hear Jane’s story, they typically ask her, “Why?” Her answer is simple: “Because I wanted to have sex. What’s the big deal?” Sex is a natural and healthy part of life, even though it’s not always perceived that way. If one thing’s for sure, Jane is a woman who knew what she wanted and went for it!

DANCING THE NIGHT AWAY

In our constantly changing world there are few things that have endured like ballroom dancing. In fact, it’s more popular than ever! Suzanne visits the Stardust Ballroom in Bellmawr, New Jersey to see why so many seniors are gravitating to dance, and to brush up on a few moves of her own.

Owner of the Stardust Ballroom, Joyce Hanley, says that when the last of her children left for college she was left with tons of free time – something she thought would be liberating, but in reality left her feeling bored. She came across an ad in the newspaper for dance lessons at the Stardust Ballroom and decided to give it a shot. Joyce says she immediately fell in love with the venue and the activity. As the current proprietor of the Stardust Ballroom, Joyce says she has gained the added bonus of watching the many patrons enjoy themselves as they dance, create new relationships and strengthen old ones.

93-year-old Stardust patron, Walter, has been dancing for nearly 80 years. He says he benefits from dancing both socially and physically. In fact, after being involved in an accident several years ago that left him with a broken femur and hip, Walter has continued to dance as a sort of physical rehabilitation. While he may not be quite at the level he was before the accident, Walter says that dance has been invaluable for regaining his mobility. Two other Stardust regulars, Betty Henry and Harold Smith, first met at the ballroom when Harold asked Betty to dance. She agreed, and asked him to act as her partner in an upcoming showcase the venue was holding. Since then, the two have been nearly inseparable; they continue to dance together and go out on dates, proof that sometimes love blooms on the dance floor.

Joyce says that when she first came to the Stardust Ballroom, she and the other dancers regarded dance as a metaphor for life, but as time went on, they grew to believe that life was in fact a metaphor for dance. “It’s what motivates us throughout the day”, she says. Suzanne concludes her time at the Stardust Ballroom by hitting the dance floor with professional dance instructor, Vlad Martinek. The two trout out some moves and show that dancing is an activity can be enjoyed by anyone – young or old.

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