Scammers have been using dating apps to trick Aussie singles out of their hard-earned cash for years now, and they’re only getting bolder. Even as people start to learn the signs of scams that are popular on dating apps like Tinder and Bumble, the scammers themselves are moving to new platforms. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are becoming popular spots for scammers to target victims, with over one third of dating and romance scams starting on social media or online forums. From Google Hangouts to online games like Words With Friends, scammers are using more and more unconventional methods to swindle Aussies out of their hard earned cash with promises of love. Now, even people who aren’t looking for romance are being targeted by scammers who seem too good to be true, presenting themselves as the perfect match for their target. They can be charming, affectionate and seemingly “honest”, but as soon as a victim starts to trust them, these scammers turn to the one thing they really want: money. Scammers will use everything from guilt trips and emotional manipulation, to outright blackmail to force their victims to part with their hard-earned cash, leaving the victims devastated when the scammers up and disappear soon after. With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, plenty of singles are looking for a date for the most romantic day of the year and need to be on the lookout for potential scams. Obvious signs of a fake profile, such as photos of celebrities or models, and limited friends or connections, can be easy to spot, but others may take a bit of snooping. Check if the person you’ve matched with has their dating profile connected to other social media accounts; if they don’t, or the other accounts seem fishy, they could be a scammer.

Romance scams

By Amy Ziniak for Dailymail Australia. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ACCC will start sending about letters every fortnight to suspected victims of online dating scams with warnings to stop sending money. Recipients will be identified if suspicious cross-border money movements are flagged with anti-money laundering agents as part of the new scam distribution project.

Gender and age demographics of victims of online romance scams in A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigning romantic intentions towards a victim, According to Australia government “ACCC statistics”, the crime has also been in the rise in Australia. Monetary loss in Australia rose from $ million to.

A scammer requests fees upfront or personal information in return for goods, services, money or rewards that they never supply. Scammers invent convincing and seemingly genuine reasons for requesting payment, such as to cover fees or taxes. These scams are commonly mass-marketed with scammers sending them out to thousands of people all over the world at the same time, usually by mail or email.

An email, letter or text message from an overseas lottery or sweepstakes company arrives from out of nowhere. It says you have won a lot of money or fantastic prizes in a lottery or sweepstakes competition you did not enter. These scams try to trick you into giving money upfront or your personal details in order to receive the prize. Scammers typically claim that you need to pay fees or taxes before your winnings or prize can be released.

‘love lost’ as Australians lose $25 million to dating and romance scams last year.

The embrace of online dating services, such as dating apps or virtual places to meet people, is a phenomenon that has occurred worldwide. There are dozens of dating apps available; some operate globally, while others only work in some countries that have greater acceptance of them. But without a doubt, two of the most popular applications among the extensive great offerings that exist are Tinder and Happn , which claim more than 50 million users each.

Although they come in different flavors, in most cases the criminals committing romance scams study the profiles of their victims and collect personal information, such as their work activity, their level of income, and their lifestyle, because the mismanagement of our personal information in the digital age allows a criminal to build a fairly detailed profile of a future victim.

One of the most common methods is the scammer who emotionally manipulates the victim to send them money, gifts or personal information.

An IDCARE study of relationship scam cases reported from to across Australia and New Zealand revealed scammers used “.

Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, 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 personal details. How this scam works Warning signs Protect yourself Have you been scammed? More information. Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact.

They have even been known to telephone their victims as a first introduction. They may use a fictional name, or falsely take on the identities of real, trusted people such as military personnel, aid workers or professionals working abroad. 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.

They often claim to be from Australia or another western country, but travelling or working overseas. 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. They may also ask you to send pictures or videos of yourself, possibly of an intimate nature.

Often the scammer will pretend to need the money for some sort of personal emergency. 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.


A woman who lost a six-figure sum in an online dating scam has become the first known West Australian victim of romance fraud to get some of her money back. The woman, known only as Jenny, has so far received 40 per cent of the amount she sent to an overseas bank account last year during a fake relationship with “Gary”, who she met on a well-known dating website.

Jenny: “I’ve learned the hard way and paid a high price. She recovered those funds after she tried to reverse international transfers made through her bank.

Online dating sites are an increasingly popular option for many Australians reported almost 4, dating and romance scams in , with.

Not everyone you meet online is who they claim to be. Discover how to protect yourself against romance scams on social media, online dating websites or via email. Romance scammers set out to steal your heart in order to defraud you. They usually create fake online identities designed to lure you in. They may plead with you, asking for cash to help with a non-existent health, travel or family problem, or ask you to transfer assets into their name — using manipulative, psychologically controlling and deceitful tactics to get what they want.

Eddie, a successful year-old business executive, was devastated when his wife of 26 years passed away. After a year of terrible loneliness, Eddie struck up a friendship with Kali, a beautiful year-old woman of African descent, on an internet dating site. Reports may be referred to the police for possible investigation. Change your passwords and PINs straight away if you suspect your security has been compromised. Change these regularly as a preventative measure.

‘Cat and mouse’: Romance scams a $28.6m problem and growing

The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission says dating and romance scams accounted for one-fifth of all losses reported to the scam watchdog last calendar year. While scammers took advantage of the usual platforms – including Facebook and other dating sites – a troubling new trend emerged. Apps like Google Hangouts or online games such as Words with Friends and Scrabble were used to try and con their victims.

Romance and dating scams work with scammers attempting to make their target fall for a persona they have created.

Australians lose millions every year to online dating and romance scams. Lured in by the prospect of finding true love, victims hand over their hearts and money.

Australian Women’s Weekly. Catch me if you can, my dear. The attractive, well-spoken businessman she met on Facebook last November. Of Scottish and Italian heritage, he was based in Brisbane, but overseas on business. His wife had died eight years ago and he was looking for something deep and lasting. The more she talked to him, the more she found they had in common.

They had the same values and wanted the same future. She found herself falling deliriously in love. They talked on the phone night and day in their own little bubble of excitement. He was incredibly polished. Patricia has a degree in biomedical science and another in social studies. She runs a successful high-end medical beauty business in Queensland.

And now here he was coming home and on to a life with her.

Internet romance scammers know what their victims are longing to hear, expert says

Australians lost millions to online romance scammers last year, with heartless con artists increasingly targeting non-dating websites and apps including Facebook, Instagram and Words with Friends. More than a third Victims lost the most money on Facebook, which accounted for 7. Women were hit with the majority

A large surge in fake emails pretending to be Australia Post parcel tracking Online dating scams are known to cheat Australian’s out of millions of dollars every.

If you thought online dating websites are on the rise, than you would be right. However, not everyone who creates a profile on these sites has honorable intentions. Most dating scams start innocently enough. Scammers contact victims via social media sites or through email, claiming common interests or a distant, mutual connection—such as an introduction at a wedding or other large gathering.

Other scam artists make their fake profiles look as appealing as possible and wait from victims to reach out and begin the conversation. Once a scammer has you hooked, the possibilities are limitless, but here are a few of the most common variations:. Fraudsters may use the name and likeness of actual soldier or create an entirely fake profile. They send out legitimate-seeming emails, introducing themselves as being near the end of their careers, often with older children and typically widowed under tragic circumstances.

The emails are riddled with military jargon, titles and base locations, which sound impressive. In many cases, these scammers work with one or more accomplices who pose as doctors or lawyers to extract a steady stream of money. In many cases, military scams drag on for months or even years before victims finally get suspicious. The scammer then reveals their true identity.

They claim to have made a video recording and threaten to share the video with mutual social media friends or post the recording online, unless the victim sends money.

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Australians reported nearly 4, online dating and romance scams in with more than a third resulting in a direct financial loss, according to new data from the consumer watchdog, which suggests scammers are increasingly taking to social media. Around Women are three times more likely to be the victim of financial loss through a dating scam, according to the latest data. There were reported scams on online dating sites, on Instagram, and on Facebook.

Traditional dating platforms like Tinder and Match.

Some of them decide to look for lovers on online dating websites. But scammers can hunt for victims on these dating sites. Australian web users lost over $

To help protect those looking for love, Crime Stoppers encourages people to be on the lookout for signs that they are being scammed, and know how to stay safe when meeting someone new for the first time. While dating should be a fun and safe experience, important rules apply whether meeting someone online or in person for the first time. It is important to trust your instincts and remember that if something sounds too good to be true it probably is, and never, ever get financially involved with someone you hardly know.

Online dating sites are an increasingly popular option for many looking for love, but it is important to safeguard your privacy and anonymity. If you do get to that point where you want to share contact details, consider using a free email service provider such as Gmail, Yahoo! The more information you provide, the easier it is for someone to find out more about you via any social media account, online searching, or even contacting your employer under false pretence.

It is hard to gauge how many people have actually fallen victims to a love scam because often victims are too embarrassed to come forward. Dating scammers often try and trick their victims into falling in love and then deceitfully take their money. Around Just as every piece of information helps to solve crime, every dollar donated to Crime Stoppers also makes a real difference.

Report Crime en. Some facts and figures provided by Scamwatch include: Instagram was the most common social media website totalling 8. Facebook was the social media website that incurred the highest losses totalling 7.

How to Spot Online Dating Scams