Online dating service scams

If the request for funds is indeed a scam, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to ever recover the money. Please call Member Services at Welcome to Consumer Reports. You now have access to benefits that can help you choose right, be safe and stay informed.

In our online dating survey, 12 percent of people say they were conned. Sharing is Nice Yes, send me a copy of this email. Send We respect your privacy. Oops, we messed up.

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Their worry is not overstated. Romance scams really can happen to anyone. Have you been hurt by a romance scam? Tell us in the comments below.

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To recognize and avoid romance scams, follow these tips. Consumer Reports is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to helping consumers. We make it easy to buy the right product from a variety of retailers. Our service is unbiased: All prices are subject to change. More From Consumer Reports. Make a Donation Newsletters. Privacy Policy Updated Sept.

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.


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Sometimes the scammer will send you valuable items such as laptop computers and mobile phones, and ask you to resend them somewhere. 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. Alternatively they may ask you to buy the goods yourself and send them somewhere.

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You might even be asked to accept money into your bank account and then transfer it to someone else. Warning - the above scenarios are very likely to be forms of money laundering which is a criminal offence. Never agree to transfer money for someone else. They will tell you they need your money to cover administrative fees or taxes. Scammers may attempt to lure their victims overseas, putting you in dangerous situations that can have tragic consequences.

Regardless of how you are scammed, you could end up losing a lot of money. Online dating and romance scams cheat Australians out of millions every year. The money you send to scammers is almost always impossible to recover and, in addition, you may feel long-lasting emotional betrayal at the hands of someone you thought loved you.

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If you think you have been scammed, report it to the website, app, or social media site where the scammer first approached you. If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately. We encourage you to report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page. This helps us to warn people about current scams, monitor trends and disrupt scams where possible.

Please include details of the scam contact you received, for example, email or screenshot. We also provide guidance on protecting yourself from scams and where to get help. Phishing Phishing scams are attempts by scammers to trick you into giving out your personal information such as your bank account numbers, passwords and credit card numbers. Identity theft is a type of fraud that involves using someone else's identity to steal money or gain other benefits.

Dating & romance

These scams offer you the false promise of an inheritance to trick you into parting with your money or sharing your bank or credit card details. While these scams originated in Nigeria, they now come from all over the world. Skip to Content Skip to Sitemap.