News

Valentine's Day scam that's worse than having to buy flowers

VALENTINE'S SCAM: The ACCC is warning people chasing romance online to be wary of scams.
VALENTINE'S SCAM: The ACCC is warning people chasing romance online to be wary of scams. Georja Ryan

IF YOU'RE love lost, don't get your heart broken this Valentine's Day by online scams.

Last year 4,100 people reported falling for dating and romance scams had lost more than $25 million, the largest amount of money lost to any type of scam.

Last month more than $1.8 million was lost to dating and romance scams.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is warning people to be wary of scammers when chasing romance online or on social media.

"Reports of dating and romance scams increased by more than a third in 2016 and, sadly, the amount of money reported lost has also increased by about $3 million compared to 2015," ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

ACCC stats showed Facebook was a popular way for romance scammers to make contact with their victims.

People aged 45 and over were most at risk.

"Scammers create very believable profiles, including stealing the identities of real, trusted people such as military personnel, aid workers or professionals working abroad. If you meet someone who seems too good to be true, do some research to see if they're the real deal," Ms Rickard said.

"Look for inconsistencies in their stories. For example, do they say they are university educated but have poor English and grammar? Is their profile picture legitimate or stolen? These are red flags that you're likely dealing with a scammer.

"Perhaps the biggest warning sign is when a scammer asks you for money. After gaining your trust - often waiting weeks, months or even years - they tell you an elaborate story involving some crisis, or plan to travel to see you and ask for money, gifts or your bank account/credit card details."

 

WATCH OUT: Stats on romance and dating online scams.
WATCH OUT: Stats on romance and dating online scams. ACCC

How to protect yourself:

Never provide your financial details or send funds to someone you've met online. Scammers particularly seek money orders, wire transfers or international funds transfer as it's rare to recover money sent this way.

Run a Google Image search to check the authenticity of any photos provided as scammers often use fake photos they've found online.

Be very wary if you are moved off a dating website as scammers prefer to correspond through private emails or the phone to avoid detection.

Don't share intimate photos or use webcams in an intimate setting. The ACCC has received reports of scammers using such photos or webcam recordings to blackmail victims.

If you think you have fallen victim to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately and report it.

You can report suspect scams to scamwatch.gov.au.

Topics:  editors picks general-seniors-newsempt online dating online scams scamwatch valentine's day



BREAKING: 'Remain committed': Gladstone bosses respond to rejection

NRG workers protest out front of the power station.

Ballot vote results in for NRG’s proposed EBA.

Community mourns as Baffle Creek couple's names released

Jack McGlynn was well-loved throughout the St. Mary's Catholic Church. Photo Contributed

Heartbroken family speaks out about much-loved grandfather's death.

Filthy 'human waste' floods CQ family's property

Limestone Creek road resident Leo Checa found raw sewerage has been dumped in a creek upstream from his property.

FAMILY lives among filth as loads of human waste runs onto property.

Local Partners

Queensland showdown for My Kitchen Rules grand final

MOTHER-daughter team Valerie and Courtney are off to meet Amy and Tyson in My Kitchen Rules Grand Final.

Watch Toowoomba teen thrill on The Voice tonight

STAR: Brittania Clifford-Pugh is on The Voice tonight.

'We've applauded her many times in her performances'

Simon on life after Married At First Sight

Simon McQuillan marries Alene Khatcherian in a scene from the TV series Married At First Sight. Supplied by Channel 9.

SIMON opens up on life after the cameras stop rolling

Netflix defends 13 Reasons Why

The Netflix series was based on a popular novel written by Jay Asher.

THE disturbing Netflix series has been dogged by controversy.

Fiance’s rage: ‘It’s disgusting behaviour’

Felicity breaks down on Seven year Switch.

Man’s “disgusting behaviour” on Seven Year Switch shocked viewers.

This MKR judge’s face says it all

Although maybe she accidentally sat on a pine cone.

MKR semi-final recap: Squab heads and bad desserts.

Carrie Bickmore caught out before the cameras rolled

The bubbly host looked like her usual... but

Couple gets rich renovating run-down city homes

RENO RADICALS: Baden and Nelson Marino-Hall have turned three Toowoomba homes around for profit, saying the Garden City was a haven for renovators like themselves.

The couple has already turned around three homes

Townhouse pitch raises questions over 'high density'

BIG PLANS: Residents have a chance to offer their opinion on plans to build 42 townhouses at Raceview.

Developer plans 42 townhouses for Ipswich suburb

7 million dollar city homes for sale right now

3 Keira Court, Blue Mountain Heights.

Here are seven of Toowoomba's best, and most expensive, houses

'Raping and pillaging': Landlord's anger with nightmare cost

Chris Duane, who is chairman of the body corporate for Terralina Court, says insurance companies are charging too much for premiums.

BODY corporate boss unleashes on huge costs dumped on home owners.

Lisa Curry and fiance sell up Sunshine Coast property

I'm a Celebrity, Get me Out of Here! contestant Lisa Curry with partner Mark Tabone after being evicted from the South African jungle. Picture: Dylan Robinson ***EMBARGOED 7:30pm March 9th***

Plans for dream home on hold at Mount Mellum place on market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!