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This just grazes the surface of online dating scam statistics.
Running romance scams is a full-time job for some scammers and they can be very good at it.
Sadly, more people are inadvertently getting caught up with scammers masked as soulmates. We have recorded a 39 percent increase in romance scams reports involving a financial loss between and In reality, actual losses are likely much higher.
How this scam works
A scammer pretends to be in a relationship with someone online in order to scam them out of money. They do this throughsocial media, dating websites and other website and apps.
They will have a fake backstory, family, friends and job. They may start by requesting small sums of money to test the waters, and then build up to requesting larger amounts. In some cases the scammer may try to get the person targeted to unknowingly help launder money for their criminal activities.
Some scammers are more than willing to play the waiting game. Always protect information that can be used to access your s, build a fake online presence or impersonate you. This includes:. Romance scammers often steal photos published online and use these identities to approach people.
Photos of models and uniformed soldiers are popular, however photos can be taken from anyone who publishes them publicly online — for example, from Facebook profiles. You may want to reverse image search using more than one image of the person. Remember this is not a fail-safe way to detect romance scams, but it is a useful tool as many scammers will take these photos offline. Many of these scams are professional operations and these people are very good at their job, so the important thing is not to feel embarrassed and to reach out for advice.
Romance scammers are good at what they do and can spend months building up trust before they start to ask for sums of money. there's no fail-proof way to identify a romance scam, but there are s to look out for.
If you believe that you have been or may have been scammed, you can contact Netsafe for free and confidential advice on what to do next. You can report the incident to the Police, but it is very likely the scammer is operating from a country overseas. If you suspect a friend or family member is being scammed, you may need to intervene.
Think carefully about who the best person is to have the conversation — this should be someone who they trust. The scammers have spent time and effort building trust, so convincing the person targeted that they are being scammed may not be an easy conversation.
Often the person targeted can feel very embarrassed about the situation. You can report a scam to www.
Report a scam. Follow us on social media and up to our enewsletter for alerts, news and tips.
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What if a friend or family member is being scammed?
Dating scammer photos
Our help service is open from 8am — 8pm weekdays and 9am — 5pm on weekends. Report a scam Keep up to date Follow us on social media and up to our enewsletter for alerts, news and tips. Tags: romance scams scams. Next post Come and see us at AUT! post What to do in a data breach. Related Posts Tips to avoid scams Kimberly18th May What to do in a data breach Angela Boundy12th March