‘Oh, my God, I have been scammed’: How the man you meet online could rob you blind

Australians reported nearly 4, online dating and romance scams in with more than a third resulting in a direct financial loss, according to new data from the consumer watchdog, which suggests scammers are increasingly taking to social media. Around Women are three times more likely to be the victim of financial loss through a dating scam, according to the latest data. There were reported scams on online dating sites, on Instagram, and on Facebook. Traditional dating platforms like Tinder and Match. Joseph Brookes is a writer and content producer for Which

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Over the past two decades there has been an increasing trend towards people using the internet and dating applications to meet new partners. While there are no official statistics on the number of Australians using online dating sites, with industry bodies claim that around 4. This is ahead of other traditional channels including interest-based clubs, holidays, pubs or bars, work and social networking sites.

Reduced stigma has promoted increases in online dating at all ages.

According to Scamwatch, in there were 3, reported romance scam cases which cost Australians a total of $24 million. While this figure may seem high.

If you thought online dating websites are on the rise, than you would be right. However, not everyone who creates a profile on these sites has honorable intentions. Most dating scams start innocently enough. Scammers contact victims via social media sites or through email, claiming common interests or a distant, mutual connection—such as an introduction at a wedding or other large gathering.

Other scam artists make their fake profiles look as appealing as possible and wait from victims to reach out and begin the conversation. Once a scammer has you hooked, the possibilities are limitless, but here are a few of the most common variations:.

Romance scams expand to new platforms, costing victims $28m

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very sad stories where people have fallen victim to romance Australians reported to Scamwatch losses of more than $28 online quickly wants to move communications away from the dating website or app.

Internet scams are different methodologies of Fraud, facilitated by cybercriminals on the Internet. Scams can happen in a myriad of ways- via phishing emails, social media, SMS messages on your mobile phone, fake tech support phone calls, scareware and more. The main purpose of these types of scams can range from credit card theft, capturing user login and password credentials and even identity theft. The top online scam today is Phishing.

Internet thieves prey on unsuspecting users by sending out phishing emails. In these emails, a cybercriminal tries to trick you into believing you are logging into a trusted website that you normally do business with. This could be a bank, your social media account, an online shopping website, shipping companies, cloud storage companies and more.

Another type of popular phishing scam is the Nigerian Prince, or scam. One close to our industry is fake security software, which is also known as scareware. These start with a pop up warning saying that you have a virus. Then the popup leads the user to believe that if they click on the link, the infection will get cleaned up. Social media scams are a variety of posts you will see in your news feeds- all with the goal of getting you to click on a link that could potentially be hosting malware.

Australians warned of online dating scams this Valentine’s Day

Dating and romance scams made up around one-fifth of losses among all the scams reported to Scamwatch in Typically, in visa scams involving online romance, Australians are convinced into transferring money to individuals that they have met online. In one such victim story, an Australian met a person online that later asked him to invite her to Australia, paying for the expenses.

Later, being wrongfully informed that all her valuables were seized by the custom officials, the Australian was then coerced into sending more money for bribing the officials. Eventually, the woman asked him to come to her country and assist her in leaving the country and moving to Australia with him. Many have been similarly duped.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission deputy chairwoman Delia Rickard said the highest losses were on online dating platforms.

It was the question to which she had no answer: How could I have let this happen to me? Like just over Australian men and women last year alone, Jan had fallen victim to a highly sophisticated romance scam. She lost her entire life savings and all her superannuation. And, as she realised in the days and weeks that followed, there was virtually nothing she could do about it.

People wonder how you could be so stupid. A successful year-old IT consultant, Jan had recently moved back from Brisbane to her native Melbourne for work and to be closer to her family.

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Estimated reading time is 6 minutes. Do you have suspicions that a friend or family member is involved in a romance scam? Do you ever wonder why people fall for romance scams? While this figure may seem high, this is just what gets reported; many victims never make a report due to fear or embarrassment. She found she could join groups and play games via the social media channel. This interaction was the start of what Grace thought was an exciting new romance.

Online romance scams are among the common scams that the Department of Home Affairs of Australia warns against.

Not everyone you meet online is who they claim to be. Discover how to protect yourself against romance scams on social media, online dating websites or via email. Romance scammers set out to steal your heart in order to defraud you. They usually create fake online identities designed to lure you in. They may plead with you, asking for cash to help with a non-existent health, travel or family problem, or ask you to transfer assets into their name — using manipulative, psychologically controlling and deceitful tactics to get what they want.

Eddie, a successful year-old business executive, was devastated when his wife of 26 years passed away. After a year of terrible loneliness, Eddie struck up a friendship with Kali, a beautiful year-old woman of African descent, on an internet dating site. Reports may be referred to the police for possible investigation. Change your passwords and PINs straight away if you suspect your security has been compromised. Change these regularly as a preventative measure.

Aussies have been conned out of $3.55 million by online dating fraudsters this year alone

A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigning romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud. Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victim’s money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers ; or forcing the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf. Number of cases rose from to in only two years.

Some of them decide to look for lovers on online dating websites. But scammers can hunt for victims on these dating sites. Australian web users lost over $

It can be surprisingly easy to fall prey to a romance scam — and has nothing to do with stupidity, an online fraud expert has warned. It is a ‘romance’ between people who never meet, based purely on text messages, internet liaisons and phone calls. Yet victims all too often are willing to give away thousands of dollars and risk facilitating a crime. But a counsellor who works with such victims on a daily basis said the scenario was “way more complex”. Ms Malet-Warden said to prompt someone to fall in love with a scammer, the victim was first “seeded” with an idea.

The fraud is called an “advanced feed fraud” as the victim gives money expecting to get it back and all sorts of false ID is provided to let the victim believe they will get the money back. People are losing everything in these scams, from superannuation to life savings, and on top there is the loss of a person they believed was the love their life. Ms Malet-Warden said the victims were “happy to give because they are in love”.

Ms Malet-Warden said scammers used the complex language of love to connect with their victims in the early stages of a process that regularly hooked smart, educated people.

Romance scams

Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, apps or social media by pretending to be prospective companions. They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details. How this scam works Warning signs Protect yourself Have you been scammed? More information. Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact.

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Being stood up is bad, but being stood up by a scammer who stole your money and left you broken-hearted is a real downer. Related story: Romance scams were the most ‘devastating’ of But scammers are also using apps like Google Hangouts, Words with Friends and Scrabble to meet and hoodwink their victims. There are seven giveaways that this profile is a scam. Are you smarter than a scammer? There are several red flags in this dating profile, but can you find the warning signs in this message?

While some red flags are pretty obvious, others might not be as easy to spot. Women make up the majority of romance scam victims The ACCC suggests those who suspect their online adorer use reverse image searches like Google or TinEye to double check images, and stay alert to spelling and grammar mistakes and inconsistencies. No matching results for ”. Tip: Try a valid symbol or a specific company name for relevant results.

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‘love lost’ as Australians lose $25 million to dating and romance scams last year.

A scammer requests fees upfront or personal information in return for goods, services, money or rewards that they never supply. Scammers invent convincing and seemingly genuine reasons for requesting payment, such as to cover fees or taxes. These scams are commonly mass-marketed with scammers sending them out to thousands of people all over the world at the same time, usually by mail or email. An email, letter or text message from an overseas lottery or sweepstakes company arrives from out of nowhere.

Several Australian citizens have been defrauded by bogus internet friendship, dating and marriage schemes purportedly operating mainly from Russia.

I agree to receive Information Age. I declare that I have read, understood and agree to the ACS Privacy Policy and consent to my personal information being collected, held and processed for the purposes outlined in that policy. Print article. Police executed warrants across Sydney as part of the operation, seizing mobile phones, computers, hard drives, a gun, and drugs while making their arrests.

The arrested men, aged between 26 and 35, were all charged with multiple counts of participating in a criminal group and offences relating to money laundering. Detectives arrest a year-old man in Liverpool on Wednesday morning. Image: Supplied. The relevant money laundering offences carry a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment while low level participation in criminal group offences have a maximum sentence of 5 years. But while law enforcement is making progress catching the scammers, Australians continue to fall victim to costly scams.

The ACCC recommends that you never send money to people you have only met on social media, and for you to run image searches of pictures sent through dating apps because scammers regularly steal photos from the internet to fake their identity. To report a cyber crime, head to the Report Cyber website or contact police assistance on

Internet romance scammers know what their victims are longing to hear, expert says

Australian Women’s Weekly. Catch me if you can, my dear. The attractive, well-spoken businessman she met on Facebook last November. Of Scottish and Italian heritage, he was based in Brisbane, but overseas on business. His wife had died eight years ago and he was looking for something deep and lasting. The more she talked to him, the more she found they had in common.

Reduced stigma has promoted increases in online dating at all ages. users should exercise some caution with dating and romance scams accounting for over.

But the romance ended up costing her life savings. Picture: Supplied Source:Supplied. Ms Marshall had just moved from Brisbane to Melbourne and was looking for companionship when she signed up to Plenty of Fish, and within days she was contacted by a man who claimed to be a British engineer who was based in the US. The relationship soon progressed to emails and then phone calls — and within four weeks, the couple were engaged to marry.

Victims take on a lot of shame, which is supported by the amount of victim blaming out there. Ms Marshall tried to get information about the scammer from Plenty of Fish, but the website refused to pass on any details as it would be considered a breach of client privacy. But Western Union, which Ms Marshall had used to transfer the money to Dubai in , revealed it had actually gone to Nigeria, meaning the year-old was probably the victim of a Nigerian scamming ring.

Ms Marshall started a support group in for other victims and their friends and family and has also written a book about her experience titled Romance Scam Survivor: the whole sordid story.

ACCC-CCCC: Online Romance Scams


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