Australian dating scams
Australians aged over 55 accounted for 45 per cent of reports to Scamwatch.
Investment scams accounted for the most losses with combined reports to Scamwatch and ACORN totalling million.
Victims often report seeing advertisements for online stores on social media selling discounted products made by well-known brands.
These online stores are fake and the products victims think they are buying don’t exist.
A recent survey showed that 82% of Australians think that “loneliness is increasing”, a concealment for saying they are the ones who actually are lonely.
33% of the survey’s respondents said they had no one to confide in, and that is exactly what romance scammers are counting on: the increase of lonely people goes hand in hand with the increase of romance scams.
"If someone you've met through social media but you've never met in person asks you for money, your alarm bells should be ringing.
This is of course just the tip of the iceberg: a lot of victims refrain to report having being romance-scammed due to embarrassment and emotional suffering. A romance scam is a fraud technique that criminals use to access their victims’ finances by engaging in a romantic relationship with them, gaining their trust and affection so that they can later manipulate their lovers-victims into willingly sending them money.Someone may think they just met online the love of their life: good-looking, same hobbies and interests, with a good situation…but the reality is that they are in fact building a relationship with someone probably spending his days in a cybercafé, more than likely based overseas, nurturing several similar relationships with different individuals, all with the same profile: lonely and vulnerable.Scammers especially target older people since those may be less experienced on the Internet, and are often not as tech-savvy as younger ones.
Once they choose their victims, criminals will create fake yet highly believable profiles using stolen photos on the Internet, from modelling agencies, free stock image websites or already existing social media profiles.They can also simply steal a whole account content to impersonate someone, by creating a different yet very similar profile.