Romance and online dating scams 2017 accc opinion

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These numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. Women lost nearly twice as much money as men and people aged 45 and over are most likely to be targeted. The DOJ is using this penalty to provide refunds to eligible people worldwide, including Australian scam victims, who were tricked into paying scammers via Western Union. Scamwatch is urging all Australians who lost money to a scammer through Western Union from to to take action by 31 May to try to get it back. This includes victims of dating and romance scammers. Further information, including how to make an application for a refund, is available at: Victims scammed via Western Union may get refunds.

ACCC-CCCC: Online Romance Scams

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.

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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.

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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.

The scammer may also claim they want to travel to visit you, but cannot afford it unless you are able to lend them money to cover flights or other travel expenses. Sometimes the scammer will send you valuable items such as laptop computers and mobile phones, and ask you to resend them somewhere.

The common scam pattern

They will invent some reason why they need you to send the goods but this is just a way for them to cover up their criminal activity.

The scammers are criminal fraudsters even if they are in other countries, but this sometimes gets missed because the victim paid money to them.

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Unfortunately, from the many police shows on our TV, we expect a quick response, from technically skilled officers every police show has its computer boffin who can find anything, quicklyand effective action to capture and punish the criminals. Many victims are sorely let down as this expectation is not met in Australia.

Romance and online dating scams 2017 accc

The criminals know this too, and target Australians with impunity knowing that nothing is likely to be done to them. There is also no mention in the report of australian police or other authorities working with other countries to capture and punish these criminals working on romance scams, yet this has been done in the USA, and this is a global problem of enormous proportions.

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More needs to be done to work these international links. Another area missing from tackling scams is how relatives and friends can be supported to intervene in a scam currently in progress.

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I often get contacted by people frantic about how to stop the scam occurring with their relative or friend, as they see the victim send money to the scammer. The victim has often with the insistence of the scammer cut off from friends and family, and are so invested in the fantasy relationship that they trust the scammer completely.

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This happened in my case too. It is extremely difficult to break through psychological and emotional manipulation to the victim once the scam is entrenched.

ACCC reveals Australian public lost record amount of cash to scammers in

More research is needed into what works to interrupt a scam in progress, and processes put in place to meet these needs. Is it possible, for example, for relatives or friends to request a scam disruption letter be sent?

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What if money is not being sent to a known high risk jurisdiction, but somewhere else? We must remember that scammers are incredibly inventive and very responsive to the changing climate. Use of dating sites is decreasing. If scammers know their country is being targeted for prevention efforts, it is easy to get money sent to an account in a different country.

The ACCC is warning people to be careful about who they 'friend' online this Valentine's Day with stats showing people are most likely to be preyed upon by dating and romance scammers on social media sites. Australians reported losses of $ million to Scamwatch from dating and romance scams in with more than reports. These numbers are just the tip of the . Latest Targeting Scams report from ACCC The latest report out from the ACCC called Targeting Scams came out on Monday 15 May with the figures. In the area of romance scams the figures ($ million reported lost) have not changed much, up slightly from , but still under the level. Dec 21,   Finding love online is becoming more and more commonplace. In fact, you probably know at least one couple who met online. However, the rise in popularity of online dating has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of romance scams taking place. Dating and romance scams are nothing new, but with so many people looking for love online Author: Aimee O'driscoll.

An online scam expert has warned Australians are still falling for fraudsters at record levels. Picture: iStock Source:istock.

Scammers use modern technology like social media to contact and deceive their victims.

Romance and online dating scams accc - Is the number one destination for online dating with more dates than any other dating or personals site. How to get a good man. It is not easy for women to find a good man, and to be honest it is not easy for a man to find a good woman. Men looking for a woman - Women looking for a man. Summary: Australians lose millions of dollars to dating & romance scams every sure you know how to spot the social media scam. Visit to learn more about how to protect yourself from scams. Published: 14 May

In the past few years, reports indicate scammers are using aggressive techniques both over the phone and online. Last year, the ACCC received almost 33, reports of threat-based impersonation scams, and Ms Rickard said the public should always stop to check if the call makes sense before handing over money.

If the person said they were, for example, from Telstra or the ATO, find the phone number for that organisation online or in the phone book, call them and let them know about the call you received.

Ms Rickard said dating and romance scams were "the cruellest of scams" because the perpetrators used victims' hopes of finding a loving partner to fleece them financially. "It is not uncommon to. May 21,   ACCC reveals Australian public lost record amount of cash to scammers in of more than eight per cent - while dating and romance scams caused the second greatest losses at $42 million. Top 10 scams by amount lost. Amount lost/th> Investment scams. Dating & romance. Threats to life, arrest or other. Online shopping scams. Classified scams. Inheritance scams. Remote access scams. Top 10 scams by reports. Number of reports. Number of reports. Online shopping scams. Remote access scams. Classified scams. Investment scams.

Sydney man Ziggy Zapata, who has worked in IT for decades and who is an avid crusader against internet scams, told news.

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