Dating and romance scams often take place though online dating websites, apps or social media. They can be made up by experienced criminal syndicates (a group of people) or simply a lone wolf (a single person), aiming to take advantage of unsuspecting victims.
How does it work?
Scammers will often create realistic profiles on dating websites and will aim to gain your trust and friendship quickly.
They’re likely to express strong emotions for you in a relatively short period of time, and suggest you move the relationship away from the website to a more private channel. They’ve been known to telephone their victims as a first introduction, and will often claim to be from Australia or another western country, travelling or working overseas.
Scammers will say all the right things, share deeply personal information to gain trust and have been known to send gifts such as laptops, mobile phones and gift cards. They’ll often pretend they need money for a personal emergency, or so they can travel to meet you in person.
Things to remember
What to do if you think you’ve been scammed