“These scams can also pose a risk to your personal safety as scammers are often part of international criminal networks.Scammers have lured unwitting Australian victims overseas, putting people in dangerous situations that can have tragic consequences,” Ms Rickard said.Inevitably, the fraudster will spin a tall tale about why they suddenly need your financial help, ranging from medical emergencies to failed business ventures to needing to rebook flights to visit you,” Ms Rickard said.
Sites that take steps to implement these guidelines create a safer online environment for their customers.“The ACCC now seeks the continued cooperation of industry in implementing the revised guidelines and encourages their adoption by any dating site that has not yet taken steps to protect their users from scammers,” Ms Rickard said.“If online dating sites don’t have advice about safe dating practices, then consumers should carefully consider whether those sites have their best interests at heart.”Scamwatch tips You've been defrauded?
"I was simply looking for companionship after my divorce and never thought there would be such cruel con artists looing to capitalise on loneliness."When he was wanting to send his money back via me, I realised there was something really wrong here and asked some questions and ended up with [police] Project Sunbird, who confirmed it was a scam." Detective Sergeant Dom Blackshaw has confirmed that the major fraud squad has been working with Nigerian police, who have arrested a suspect and charged him with obtaining money under false pretences."It's our fourth arrest working with the Nigerians - there's been a lot of cooperation between us," he said."The advice we've been given from the Nigerians is that he is part of a wider group and they invariably always work in syndicates."Detective Sergeant Blackshaw said the arrest stemmed from police lifting fingerprints off a document the scammer sent to Jenny, which matched a person known to the Nigerian police.
Jenny said she had resigned herself to the fact that she would never see the money again and felt like she had won the lottery after her bank agreed to recall several payments of money she sent to the conman."I've got it - it's safely tucked away in my bank," she said."When I learnt I had been defrauded, I put a recall on the funds and I have maintained contact with the overseas banks since that time in different channels, just assuring them that it was fraud."I sent three payments and I got two repayments back in the same amounts, so I got two phone calls back saying the money is here."I feel very lucky; a bit like winning the lottery."Jenny said the scammers prey on people who are vulnerable."I guess that was my question, how could I have fallen for that?
It's pretty easy to tell: They send the same message over and over, often with the same link.
But there's a type of dating site scam that's far trickier to spot, and the people who operate it claim to be making thousands of dollars every month fooling vulnerable men.