In a world filled with technology, many people are turning to online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone. It can be an exciting and fun way to meet new people and even find love. But seeking companionship or romance online can have major down sides. Cyberspace is full of scammers eager to take advantage of lonely hearts that can ruin the lives of individuals and their families.
Dating and romance scams cost Australians over 28.6 million reported to Scamwatch last year according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Scammers create fake profiles on legitimate dating websites, mobile apps or social media platforms like Facebook, using photos and identities often stolen from other people’s accounts. They use these profiles to try to enter into a relationship and then they build a connection, trust and expectation over months or even years. By the end, scammers have taken advantage of the person emotionally and potentially obtained a large sum of money.
Take a look at some potential clues that could be a sign of an online dating scam.
Scammers can be very deceptive and manipulative, and can target anyone. They especially pray on those who are looking for romance or simply someone to talk to. Even if you feel you have a strong connection with someone, you should never send money to someone you have met online or agree to receive money into your account on their behalf. It is so important when you are on these platforms that you are protecting yourself. Watch out for any online admirers who display the above clues, and be mindful if they present something completely out of the norm. And ask yourself the golden rule of online scams, if it sounds too good to be true, it is probably not real.
Stay scam smart: Never provide banking information over the phone or via text to anyone even if you know them. Learn more