Online dating and romance scams cheat Australians out of millions every year.

Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic playmates, 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 individual details.

How this scam works

Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make voeling. They have even bot known to telephone their victims spil a very first introduction. Thesis scams are also known spil ‘catfishing’.

Clues for spotting a fake dating profile

Example to talk privately

Scammers typically create fake online profiles designed to lure you ter. They may use a fictional name, or falsely take on the identities of verdadero, trusted people such spil military personnel, aid workers or professionals working abroad.

Dating and romance scammers will express strong emotions for you ter a relatively brief period of time, and will suggest you stir the relationship away from the webstek to a more private channel, such spil phone, email or instant messaging. They often voorwaarde to be from Australia or another película del Oeste country, but travelling or working overseas.

Scammers will go to good lengths to build up your rente and trust, such spil showering you with loving words, sharing ‘personal information’ and even sending you gifts. They may take months to build what may feel like the romance of a lifetime and may even pretend to book flights to visit you, but never actually come.

Merienda they have gained your trust and your defences are down, they will ask you (either subtly or directly) for money, gifts or your banking/credit card details. They may also ask you to send pictures or movies of yourself, possibly of an intimate nature.

Often the scammer will pretend to need the money for some sort of private emergency. For example, they may keuze to have a severely ill family member who requires instant medical attention such spil an expensive operation, or they may voorkoop financial hardship due to an unfortunate run of bad luck such spil a failed business or mugging te the street. The scammer may also voorkoop they want to travel to visit you, but cannot afford it unless you are able to lend them money to voorkant flights or other travel expenses.

Sometimes the scammer will send you valuable items such spil laptop computers and mobile phones, and ask you to resend them somewhere. They will invent some reason why they need you to send the goods but this is just a way for them to voorkant up their criminal activity. Alternatively they may ask you to buy the goods yourself and send them somewhere. You might even be asked to accept money into your handelsbank account and then transfer it to someone else.

Warning – the above screenplays are very likely to be forms of money laundering which is a criminal offence. Never agree to transfer money for someone else.

Sometimes the scammer will tell you about a large amount of money or gold they need to transfer out of their country, and suggest you a share of it. They will tell you they need your money to voorkant administrative fees or taxes.

Dating and romance scammers can also pose a risk to your individual safety spil they are often part of international criminal networks. Scammers may attempt to lure their victims overseas, putting you te dangerous situations that can have tragic consequences.

Regardless of how you are scammed, you could end up losing a lotsbestemming of money. Online dating and romance scams cheat Australians out of millions every year. The money you send to scammers is almost always unlikely to recover and, te addition, you may feel long-lasting emotional betrayal at the palms of someone you thought loved you.

Verdadero life story

Warning signs

  • You meet someone online and after just a few contacts they profess strong feelings for you, and ask to talk with you privately. If you met on a dating webpagina they will attempt and stir you away from the webpagina and communicate via talk or email.
  • Their profile on the internet dating webstek or their Facebook pagina is not consistent with what they tell you. For example, their profile picture looks different to their description of themselves, or they say they are university educated but their English is poor.
  • After gaining your trust – often waiting weeks, months or even years – they tell you an elaborate story and ask for money, gifts or your handelsbank account/credit card details.

Their messages are often poorly written, vague and escalate quickly from introduction to love.

Protect yourself

Never send money to someone you haven’t met te person.

Have you bot scammed?

If you think you have bot scammed, report it to the webstek, app, or social media webpagina where the scammer very first approached you. Let them know the scammer’s profile name and any other details that may help them to zekering others being scammed.

If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, voeling your handelsbank or financial institution instantaneously.

Wij encourage you to report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam pagina. This helps us to warn people about current scams, preceptor trends and disrupt scams where possible. Please include details of the scam voeling you received, for example, email or screenshot.

Spread the word to your friends and family to protect them.

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