Vermont Senate Delay Bill To Protect Online Daters From Scammers


Legislation to protect online daters in Vermont has been delayed until next year, after senators said they did not have sufficient time to vet the bill.

The legislation would have required dating sites to inform its users of any suspicious activity on their accounts, or if another user had been kicked off the site for suspected fraud.

The Burlington Free Press also said the bill would give legal immunity to dating sites against any accountability for the scams.

The protections were added to consumer protection bill S.73, following a series of online dating scams in Vermont where victims were tricked into handing over large amounts of money.

A typical victim was said to lose between $40,000 and $100,000, according to Wendy Morgan, chief of the Public Protection Division of the Vermont Attorney General’s Office.

The chairman of the House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development, Bill Botzow said: “The Senate hadn’t had the opportunity to thoroughly vet that section in their minds.”

The bill would have made sites contact members within 24 hours, if someone they had been in contact with was banned for suspected fraud.

When the bill was being created, Vermont’s Public Protection Division worked with both and eHarmony.

However discussion and voting of the bill in the Senate will now be delayed until January.

Senator Becca Balint said: “We are trying to figure out how to protect users of these services who are generally lonely and vulnerable.”

“The bill was all going to fall apart, so we felt the best strategy was to get the consumer bill through and tackle the online dating next year.”