They may do this willingly out of love or compassion for the scammer. Eventually, they are asked to send large amounts of money or to carry out something illegal. Sometimes the message history is enough to use as a threat, especially if the victim is married or in a long-term relationship and is hiding this online relationship from their significant other. If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately. Dating and romance scammers will express strong emotions for you in a relatively short period of time, and will suggest you move the relationship away from the website to a more private channel, such as phone, email or instant messaging. The common scam pattern Although the details vary, most online dating and romance scams follow a similar pattern. Of course, there are always other ways to transfer money. Alternatively they may ask you to buy the goods yourself and send them somewhere. They will tell you they need your money to cover administrative fees or taxes. Are the signs obvious in hindsight? This week, the database has been leaked. You can also report the incident to your local police especially if you have handed over any money or performed any requested tasks and to the fraud centre in your country of residence: However, repeated excuses at the last minute are a definite warning sign. This goes to show two things: Scammers are very clever and prey on vulnerable people. The urgency of these demands tends to ramp up and can even become threatening.
By educating yourself and those around you about the tactics online fraudsters use, you can drastically decrease the chances that you or they will become a victim. Regardless of how you are scammed, you could end up losing a lot of money. Read More , but it could also be a scammer. Scamwatch strongly recommends you do not travel overseas to meet someone you have never met before. This is difficult for non-native speakers. Victims are often too embarrassed to come forward, so these numbers may be grossly underreported. As such, they become vulnerable and are more likely to fall for these scams. A typical female would also be well-paid, but be in her late twenties and never married. As such, they are becoming more strict about the transfers they allow to go through. The urgency of these demands tends to ramp up and can even become threatening. Be wary of requests for money. Do not agree to transfer money for someone else: Here are some of the signs to look out for: She believed she was set to receive a sum many times higher than that in compensation from the Nigerian court system. Online dating and romance scams cheat Australians out of millions every year. Other large sums might be requested for investing in a business or for medical costs. Sometimes the scammer will send you valuable items such as laptop computers and mobile phones, and ask you to resend them somewhere. Read More or on the phone, where they need to spontaneously come up with things to say. One UK woman was jailed for two years for writing such scripts. Often the scammer will pretend to need the money for some sort of personal emergency. Scammers will often create multiple profiles using the same stolen images. We encourage you to report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page. Share in the comments below! Plus, the countless real online love stories only serve to make this scam even easier for criminals to pull off. If you think you have been scammed, report it to the website, app, or social media site where the scammer first approached you. For example, they may claim to have a severely ill family member who requires immediate medical attention such as an expensive operation, or they may claim financial hardship due to an unfortunate run of bad luck such as a failed business or mugging in the street.
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