The murder of Helen Bailey is a cautionary tale for anyone looking for love online and that includes men

By Nina Steele 

Understandably, the death of Helen Bailey has shone a light on Internet dating like never before. The common thread that is emerging from all the articles that have been written about the case so far, is that, it is predominantly middle-aged women who fall victims of conmen online, because of their willingness to do anything in order to avoid ending their days alone. There is no denying the fact that there is a lot of truth in this. Indeed, there are countless stories of women who, once they fall in love, throw caution out of the window, with devastating consequences. The losses are often of a financial nature, with some ending up losing all their life savings. And of course, being duped in this way has the potential to scar a person for life.

In case you are not familiar with the story of Helen Bailey, she was a successful children’s author who was murdered by her fiancé. After the death of her husband in 2011, she joined a bereavement group on facebook. It is through the group that she met the man she thought would become her next husband. Sadly, he was a conman who was interested in her purely because she was wealthy. In April 2016, a few months before their planned wedding, he killed her. The fact that she had made changes to her will in order to make him the prime beneficiary, may have precipitated her death.

To use her death as proof that it is mainly middle-aged women who fall prey to online scams, is of course far from the truth. Men too fall prey to online scams, and it does society a disservice to make it look like a women only issue. Just like lots of single women, there are a great number of single men who for one reason or another, are pinning all their hopes of finding love on Internet dating sites, and other online groups. And while some end up being successful, many others end up being taken advantage of.

There are stories after stories of often Western men being conned out of huge sums of money by women on foreign dating sites. I watched a documentary a few months ago about an online dating agency pairing American men with Eastern European women, and although some of the men ended up marrying some of the women, a few others fell prey to scammers. The term Internet bride or mail order bride have become a bit of a joke, precisely because of stories of scams.

Once again, the story of Helen Bailey should not be used to hide the fact that anyone looking for love online is taking a huge risk. That’s because anyone can set up an online profile, which makes it far too easy for scammers to infiltrate perfectly legitimate websites. Instead of trying to make this a single middle-aged women issue, the message should be for anyone looking for love online to be extremely cautious.

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