Australian dating scams

Australians are being warned to be extra vigilant this Valentine's Day as scammers ramp up efforts to capture millions of dollars from lonely hearts.According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Watchdog (ACCC), Australians lost .5 million to dating and romance scams in 2017.It is important for online users to be on the look-out for online dating and romance scams.It can happen like this: “Maria” signed up for an online dating service and was contacted by “Andrew,” who claimed to be an American overseas on business in Australia.ANZ's Managing Director retail Distribution Catriona Noble said Valentine's Day is peak season for romance crooks who capitalise on vulnerable online users seeking companionship."A friend request on Facebook or a message on a dating site from a stranger might be the start of a romance scam, so it’s absolutely vital to recognise the signs," said Noble.

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For instance, some romance scammers express concern about their financial situation or ability to visit the victim in the hopes that a person will offer to send funds."Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and while it’s a happy day for many, for some it can be quite lonely and isolating."If you’re going on social media, a dating site or app to find a potential Mr or Ms Right, it’s important to keep your guard up to a scammer’s advances." ANZ data shows that while women lost twice as much money to online scams, it was men who appeared to be the target of the majority of scams.More than 3700 reports of fake online romances – colloquially known as "catfishing" – were reported, with women losing twice as much money as men.READ MORE: What Sydney's median house price buys you around the world READ MORE: Bitcoin billionaires: The top richest people in cryptocurrency ranked Australians over the age of 45 are most likely to be targeted on lonely days like Valentine's Day.

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