When you first lose your spouse, many feelings consume you. You may feel numb, fearful, hurt, crushed, angry, in disbelief, or broken. Maybe you feel a combination or even all of these. You aren’t thinking as clearly as you normally would. Sometimes you are left feeling vulnerable because you want your life to not be so painful. In doing so, you may let your guard down more than you normally would.

It’s sad but also important to realize that not everyone is looking out for your wellbeing. If you decide to go on social media groups or to join other online singles’ groups, keep in mind there are people who make a living off of other people’s pain and vulnerability.

They become very skilled in detecting who is hurting and still deeply grieving. They sound sincere because they have perfected the art of deceit. That’s when they go in for the scam. Unfortunately, many succeed very well at scamming and deceiving others and these abusers are rarely caught.

Please understand I’m not saying this about everyone you meet online. There are some sincere people out there as well who have only the best of intentions. I’m just saying you need to proceed with caution and awareness. Be aware of online deceivers.

Allow yourself to rely a large amount on your gut instincts. If someone is asking you for money or something else soon after meeting them, consider it a red flag. I suggest you block them and never make any more contact with them. Anyone who is genuine and has sincere intentions will not ask things from you right away. There will care more about you and what you are going through than what they can get from you.

If you don’t feel as though you can think clearly enough to rely on your gut instincts just yet, let this be another red flag that you may not be quite ready to proceed to those online groups. There will be time for that. Just don’t rush it. Enter when you can think clearly and know your gut instinct will be able to help you.

If or when you do meet someone, tell a friend or family member you can trust about it who wants only the best for you. They may help you see things in ways you can’t at this point in time.

There are support groups for widows on social media that may be of help to you if you have no one to speak with. I run one of those groups myself. There are women in those support groups who are in different stages of their grief journey. Many will have been where you are and will be able to offer advice if you ask for it.

I often say that grief stinks. The feelings that accompany it are hard and painful. So be aware of online deceivers. Don’t make it worse by falling into the trap of these lowlife scam artists who have nothing better to do than take advantage of your vulnerability. You deserve better.

Peggy Bell is the author of Amazon.com: Life After Loss For Widows: Lifting the Veil of Grief eBook: Bell, Peggy: Kindle Store.

Read Peggy Bell’s Tips for Dealing with a Spouse’s Belongings – Open to Hope

Peggy Bell

Peggy Bell is a retired educator with forty years of teaching experience, as well as an author and bestselling co-author. After retirement, Peggy wanted to do more with her life, while continuing to add value to the lives of others. She became a certified personal development coach. Having been a widow herself and knowing first-hand the pain of losing a spouse, she started an online support group for widows and wrote a book called, Life After Loss for Widows: Lifting the Veil of Grief. Peggy also empowers women who are overcome with self-doubt to discover their inner truths and thrive in life according to their terms. Peggy is a firm believer that it is never too late to go after your dreams. For more information visit www.peggymbell.com.

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