Sask. RCMP uncover online romance scam worth up to $2 million

Every day, millions of people around the world go online looking for love. Whether it’s on dating apps or social media platforms, people meet and fall in love online all the time. Unfortunately, there are fraudsters out there looking to take advantage of people through scams that begin online. In many of these cases the fraudsters pretend to fall in love with someone over the Internet, and then take advantage of them, exploiting their trust and often defrauding them of their hard-earned dollars. Here are some things you should know about this kind of fraud to help protect yourself and your loved ones:. Depending on the nature of the scam, and the potential financial payoff, romance scammers may spend weeks, months or even years building a relationship with their victims.

Victims of romance scams reported $19 million lost in 2019

The numbers for have not fully been tallied, so the number is likely larger than this. When talking about online romance fraud, the common misconception is that it only happens between an older male victim from a richer country and a younger attractive girl from some other part of the world. The truth is that many women fall for romance scam fraudsters too. The poems turned out to be from a poetry website.

Online dating scam dupes Edmonton man out of $, In , Edmonton police investigated 11 romance scams totaling an overall Why Canada is keeping its international borders shut tight during COVID

Please see our Commenting Policy for more. The Better Business Bureau says romance scams are on the rise, costing victims millions of dollars in Canada and the U. Romance scams often begin on social media and online dating sites and involve a fraudster gaining the trust and affection of a victim only to eventually steal their money and personal information. If you do end up falling victim to a romance scam and have shared financial information or sent money, the Canadian Anti-Fraud agency recommends reporting it to the financial institution you used, contacting police to file a report, and calling the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre and the BBB so it can be properly investigated.

World Canada Local. Romance scams are on the rise. Full Menu Search Menu. Close Local your local region National. Search Submit search Suggested Search.

Don’t let the romance scam break your heart

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With more and more people looking for love online, police caution the best approach is never to give someone money. It started with a Facebook conversation with a stranger, then progressed to Skype exchanges, declarations of affection and promises to meet up in person. With people increasingly looking for love online, RCMP are warning Canadians to protect their wallets as well as their hearts.

The victims are largely in their mids to late 50s, with each gender as likely to fall prey to scams, said Sgt. Guy-Paul Larocque. Louise said they spoke for months before the man asked for money, and even then, it was small amounts, purportedly to help him deal with unexpected expenses related to his exporting business, she said. Over time, those expenses ballooned and he began asking for tens of thousands of dollar at a time, vowing to reimburse her, she said. The financial loss has meant pushing back retirement, said Louise, adding the bank put limits on her credit.

She has also had to leave her home in Fort MacMurray, Alta. The experience has caused Louise tremendous stress and made her far more vigilant online, she said.

Dating services: before you sign up

Scammers are getting more and more creative when it comes to extorting information and money from residents of Saskatchewan. Gunson went on to say, country-wide, there were victims who reported romance fraud, but the romance scam presented the highest dollar loss in Saskatchewan compared to the high number of reported extortion scams. In some cases the suspect will even attempt to get the victim to commit fraud on their behalf, as a money mule accepting, then transferring money or goods often unknowingly.

Most romance scams begin via social media sites or online dating sites. Be wary when someone you meet on social media wants to quickly move to a private mode of communication email, text.

Thanks to online dating scams, many people searching for love end up victims in the U.S. and Canada have reported losing more than $1.

Since the large adoption of the internet, the online dating industry moved to set a new standard in the way we find our soulmates. And it worked. According to a study from the University of Chicago, compared to marriages between couples who meet in real life, marriages between couples whose relationships are formed through an online dating site are more likely to last.

Unfortunately, with the rise of online dating services came the birth of romance scams. Romance scams target wealthy women, sometimes widows, who are looking for a new relationship and men who are looking for extra-marital relationships. In most cases, the goal is to defraud the victim out of money. According to the FTC , victims between the ages of 40 and 69 were scammed at the highest rates, while victims aged 70 and above reported the biggest losses. After registering on a dating website, the victim meets a hacker impersonating a handsome man.

Most of the time, this man will have the same nationality as the victim. At the time of contact, he is on a business trip abroad, in the military, or, in the case of high-profile romance scam out of Australia, sailing. Written and audio messages will be exchanged between the scammer and their victim. Exchanges will intensify, often over a period of a few weeks or a few months—enough time for the victim to get emotionally attached. The scammer reappears by sending an email asking for help, pretending they are stuck abroad without any ID, phone, or money.

This is when the emotional scam closes in on the victim, who then transfers money via Western Union to help their soulmate.

Romance & Relationship Fraud

Full Menu Search Menu. Close Canadian your local region National. Search Submit search Suggested Search. Close X. By Anne Drewa Global News.

Canadians lost more than $ million in to fraudulent romantic partners they met on dating sites and through social media. Romance.

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When love becomes a nightmare: Online dating scams

Finding your information. As fraud awareness month comes to a close, the Winnipeg Police Service wants to remind you to be alert for potential online scams. For most people, connecting with someone on the internet is harmless but for others, a chance encounter leaves a wake of destruction that can never be forgotten. The victim usually meets the fraudster through social networking or dating sites.

Five Regina men are facing charges after seven Canadian women were bilked involved in the long-term running of online romance scams.”.

Thanks to online dating scams, each year thousands of Americans who are searching for love end up with nothing but a broken heart and an empty wallet. While online dating and social media sites have become increasingly popular tools to find love and friendship, they’ve unfortunately also become popular tools for fraudsters known as romance scammers. These con artists create fake profiles to lure in victims, establish romantic relationships and eventually, extort money.

According to the Better Business Bureau, victims in the U. Older users, in particular, are more often targeted by this type of scam — and most don’t realize they are a victim until it is too late. We also have information about how to report a dating scammer if you or someone you love has fallen victim to one. Romance scammers are experts in social manipulation and can sound very convincing. Many of the signs of a romance scammer are subtle and insidious because the scammer is trying to build trust before they exploit you.

Often times, the first sign of an online dating scam shows up when a romance scammer expresses strong emotions in a relatively short period of time. Guard your personal information carefully, and be wary if a new love interest asks for personal details soon after contact. Be suspicious of anyone who asks you for financial assistance, no matter how dire their circumstances seem to be. Often times, scammers convince victims to leave the dating site and use personal email or instant messaging to continue communication.

At first, this might not seem like a red flag. Be very cautious when someone asks for your phone number or email address.

Romance scams present highest dollar loss for province

By Remi Stephanie Rozario April 23, Little did she know that her ex-boyfriend was waiting there for her instead. Later, she learned what had happened. Shortly after their break-up, her ex-boyfriend created a fake Tinder and Instagram profile and talked to her for several weeks, pretending to be someone else.

If you thought online dating websites are on the rise, than you would be right. 49 million Americans have tried dating sites, reports Statistic Brain Research.

Please contact customerservices lexology. But they are a particularly heartless type of fraud. They prey on the kindness of people looking for love. These days, typical romance scams begin online. Someone who is looking to date finds an appealing profile online on a dating site or app, for example , but the scammer on the other end is not sincerely looking for love. Sometimes the scammer will meet, and go through the motions of a relationship while taking advantage of the victim.

Often, however, the scammer will maintain communication without meeting, and build the illusion that a real, emotional relationship is developing. Ultimately, the scammer will ask for money somehow. The charges followed a month investigation.

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