While you’re looking for love online, con artists may be looking for your money.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre says dating sites are one of the go-to spots for those looking to prey upon the vulnerable, especially seniors.
Canadians were scammed out of nearly $17-million dollars from romance scams last year, over $7-million of which came out the pockets of seniors.
“The scammer plays the part of the love interest to a ‘T.’ It’s extremely organized and sophisticated,” explains anti-fraud specialist Daniel Williams. “There’s a massive amount of losses and the emotional devastation is off the charts.”
It often takes quite some time for the scammer to build up trust with the victim, who Williams says is typically someone who just got out of a long-term relationship.
“We’ve seen many of them take nine, ten, eleven months before any mention of money. And the sad reality is that they have so many victims on the go that they can afford to play it out. They don’t have to chance their game by rushing things. They’ve got such a constant stream of big money coming into them.”
Senior also lost nearly $6-million in prize scams and over $2-million in fake “family emergencies,” which was by far the most frequently used facade.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre recommends taking time to collect more information before making decisions, make sure all your questions are answered and to not give out any personal information to people you do not know. For more tips and info you can visit the Centre’s website.