We warned the public about risks associated with Romance Scams back in February, but in light of a recently reported case, we would once again like to remind online daters to use extreme caution when engaging in this activity.
In April 2013, a male in his 50s man joined an online dating site and believed he had made a love connection with a female in her 30s. He subsequently engaged in the exchange of amorous messages and pictures until July 2013. After building the online relationship, the female began to request money because of a series of problems, tragedies and dramatic events. The victim believed the female and proceeded to send large amounts of money, via international money wire transfers. The victim later realized it was a scam and had trouble coming forward to report the issue until now. He has lost thousands of dollars.
The DRPS MCU Fraud Unit would like to stress the perils associated with online dating. Also, although the victim may be embarrassed by the situation, it is vital to report the matter in a timely manner, in order to increase the probability of an arrest.
Please be careful when looking for love online, and educate yourself about resources available to you if you suspect you are being scammed.
Romance Scam Information
1. Online scammers will frequently troll the various dating sites in order to find potential victims.
2. Do not automatically assume the person is legitimate.
3. Men and women possess the same ability to become victims of romance scams.
4. The profile and associated pictures of the online scammer are false, recycled or stolen.
5. The online scammer is likely part of a sophisticated and global criminal organization.
6. The relationship phase will be become expedited and the scammer will refer to the victim as “Sweetie” and “Honey.”
7. Once the relationship and trust has been established, the victim will be requested to move money on behalf of the scammer. This usually entails the victim depositing cheques or sending money orders to foreign locations.
8. Once the victim has committed to the relationship, they will receive more requests for money from the original scammer, or other scammers.
9. The victim will never recover their financial loss and be required to repay the financial institution any outstanding amounts.
Utilize these websites to search for additional information:
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