Victims of online dating scams

Before forwarding the complaints to the appropriate agencies, IC3 collates and analyzes the data—looking for common threads that could link complaints together and help identify the culprits. Here are some tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of an online dating scam.

The man was trying to send money overseas after repeated requests from the woman, but was alerted by his bank to the fact he was probably being swindled.

Ms Rickard said it was important for people to share their stories, no matter how embarrassed they may be."The more people stand up and talk about it, the better it is for other people," she said."It takes a long time before people wake up to the fact they have been scammed because they want to believe in this wonderful relationship."Do you think you may have been scammed?

Australians are delivering millions of dollars into the hands of scammers each year in the hope of romance and love, but many incidents are going unreported.

Just in the month of January, Scamwatch data reveals Australians lost an astonishing $1.8 million to dating and romance scams.

Action Fraud, the reporting and advice centre run by the National Fraud Authority, identified 592 victims of the scams between 2010-11. However this new study confirms suspicions that the scale of the problem is much bigger, because victims are too ashamed to report the crime.

“It is our view that the trauma caused by this scam is worse than any other, because of the ‘double hit’ experienced by the victims – loss of monies and a ‘romantic relationship’,” said Professor Whitty.

But Delia Rickard, deputy chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), is confident the figure was much higher."We've done quite a bit of disruption work using financial data to identify people that we think might be sending money to scammers and in almost all cases, we find they have," she said."We can see there has been a long history of them sending money and mostly, they haven't reported it to us.""We have seen people lose over

“It is our view that the trauma caused by this scam is worse than any other, because of the ‘double hit’ experienced by the victims – loss of monies and a ‘romantic relationship’,” said Professor Whitty.But Delia Rickard, deputy chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), is confident the figure was much higher."We've done quite a bit of disruption work using financial data to identify people that we think might be sending money to scammers and in almost all cases, we find they have," she said."We can see there has been a long history of them sending money and mostly, they haven't reported it to us.""We have seen people lose over $1 million, mortgage their homes, lose everything financially and, of course, become emotionally devastated."Although the person being scammed did not realise, Ms Rickard said there may be an entire group of people operating behind the fictional profile they had been seduced by."There are big numbers of people involved in this.It is big organised crime [and] most of the scammers are based overseas," she said.Report a scam to Scamwatch or the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN).Millions of Americans visit online dating websites every year hoping to find a companion or even a soulmate.“It may well be that the shame and upset experienced by the victims deters them from reporting the crime.

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“It is our view that the trauma caused by this scam is worse than any other, because of the ‘double hit’ experienced by the victims – loss of monies and a ‘romantic relationship’,” said Professor Whitty.

But Delia Rickard, deputy chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), is confident the figure was much higher."We've done quite a bit of disruption work using financial data to identify people that we think might be sending money to scammers and in almost all cases, we find they have," she said."We can see there has been a long history of them sending money and mostly, they haven't reported it to us.""We have seen people lose over $1 million, mortgage their homes, lose everything financially and, of course, become emotionally devastated."Although the person being scammed did not realise, Ms Rickard said there may be an entire group of people operating behind the fictional profile they had been seduced by."There are big numbers of people involved in this.

It is big organised crime [and] most of the scammers are based overseas," she said.

Report a scam to Scamwatch or the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN).

Millions of Americans visit online dating websites every year hoping to find a companion or even a soulmate.

“It may well be that the shame and upset experienced by the victims deters them from reporting the crime.

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“It is our view that the trauma caused by this scam is worse than any other, because of the ‘double hit’ experienced by the victims – loss of monies and a ‘romantic relationship’,” said Professor Whitty.

But Delia Rickard, deputy chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), is confident the figure was much higher."We've done quite a bit of disruption work using financial data to identify people that we think might be sending money to scammers and in almost all cases, we find they have," she said."We can see there has been a long history of them sending money and mostly, they haven't reported it to us.""We have seen people lose over $1 million, mortgage their homes, lose everything financially and, of course, become emotionally devastated."Although the person being scammed did not realise, Ms Rickard said there may be an entire group of people operating behind the fictional profile they had been seduced by."There are big numbers of people involved in this.

It is big organised crime [and] most of the scammers are based overseas," she said.

Report a scam to Scamwatch or the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN).

million, mortgage their homes, lose everything financially and, of course, become emotionally devastated."Although the person being scammed did not realise, Ms Rickard said there may be an entire group of people operating behind the fictional profile they had been seduced by."There are big numbers of people involved in this.

It is big organised crime [and] most of the scammers are based overseas," she said.

Report a scam to Scamwatch or the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN).

Millions of Americans visit online dating websites every year hoping to find a companion or even a soulmate.

“It may well be that the shame and upset experienced by the victims deters them from reporting the crime.

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