With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, DRP would like to remind the public about Internet safety when it comes to online dating. Although there are many legitimate dating websites in Canada, there are also many dating and romance scammers that will trick you into handing over your money.
What to look for in a Dating or Romance Scam:
Some websites are set up so you have to pay for each email or message you send and receive. The scammer will hook you in by sending vague messages filled with talk of love and desire. They will try and appeal to your romantic and compassionate side to lower your defences, telling you anything to keep you writing back.
On a legitimate dating site you may still be approached by a scammer. They might tell you they have a sick family member or need your assistance and then ask you to send them some money to help their situation. Some will even arrange to meet you in the hopes of getting money and presents, and then quickly disappear.
In 2012, a female from Durham Region was defrauded of $350,000 by a man she met on an online dating service. She was convinced that he was a successful businessman in the goldmining business. He persuaded her to transfer money to him through bank wires, money service transfers and couriers because he said he was in need of financial assistance.
DRP strongly encourages the public to be cautious of dating sites and to never give out your personal banking information over the internet and to never send money to people you don’t know.
For more information on Internet safety and scams visit our Public Safety section.
Also, check out the Little Black Book of Scams for more information on common scams.
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