Romance Scams: The Email Threat That Breaks Hearts and Banks

With the increase in online dating options, con artists of all stripes have followed suit in developing new ways to lure the unsuspecting into relationships with the sole aim of bilking them. In reality, losses are likely much higher. The idea is to gradually build up a relationship over time and get the victim to trust them. Then they get to the real business at hand. Consider this recent real-world example: At first, the victims received requests from their online boyfriends for small gifts, like gift cards for iTunes or cell phones. As the relationships evolved, so did the size of the gifts. The men, who all used false identities, claimed to be working overseas and needed money to help complete a project or to return home. In certain cases, victims are persuaded to buy items of value or even to launder money. Everyone, no matter their age, education and income. But sadly, according to research, older adults over 70 are most frequently victimized.

‘Are You Real?’ — Inside an Online Dating Scam

After going through a tough divorce, friends convinced Susan to join Tinder and meet someone new. Susan, in her 40s, told him about how painful her divorce was and that she wanted to learn to trust again. Shaun said he’d be her rock. Over the course of six months, the scammer groomed and emotionally manipulated Susan, who wished to remain anonymous, into believing what they had was real.

Once Shaun told her it was very cold in Afghanistan and asked if she’d buy him a jacket and send it to his cousin who’d be joining him there soon.

New Zealanders Lose Hundreds of Thousands to Romance Scams. (August 22, ) New Zealanders (Kiwis) are losing $, a year to online.

More information and latest updates from Police. Internet scams can affect anyone at any time so being aware of what to look for and knowing what to do is important to protect yourself and your family. These scams leverage the inexpensive and effective use of technology and social networking applications to extend their reach to a wider audience and increase their likelihood of prospective victims.

This can be achieved via the following delivery methods of unsolicited email, social networking profile or post, text message, advertised on a related web site, cold call, Instant messaging e. Romance scams involve deceiving someone by pretending to have romantic intentions towards them to gain their affection and trust. These specific trusted platforms can include dating websites, social networking sites, classified sites, and location-based social search mobile apps.

The scam typically escalates quickly where the scammer acts as if they have fallen for the victim as this creates a sense of attachment on the victim’s part so that the victim feels guilty refusing the scammer’s requests which usually involves money. Scammers are becoming increasing sophisticated in their approaches to deceive their victims into believing they are credible and that immediate payment is required to remedy the problem.

Romance scams

Photo: rf. Netsafe chief executive Martin Cocker said the 13, reports of scams and losses they received in showed that more needs to be done to protect people. Netsafe expected that the reports it received represented only a fraction of actual losses, with people confused about where to report scams, or embarrassed about being tricked. As well as financial losses, Netsafe said scam victims also reported feeling frustrated and embarrassed, or losing confidence in using digital technology to make payments or connect with others.

The most common scam reported to Netsafe in was the fake tech support scam, where scammers make contact about a fake issue with a computer and offer to fix it. The newest scam trend in was the fake sextortion scam, which falsely claimed that video footage of people watching pornography would be released unless a ransom is paid.

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Explore a range of common cyber security threats — find out how they work, how to prevent them, and what to do if they happen to you. Fraud is a criminal offence. While some scammers will simply ask their target directly for money, others will be more subtle about what they want. They can trick you into parting with personal or business details that they can use to:. Phishing is a type of email scam, where the sender pretends to be a trustworthy organisation — like a bank or government agency — in an attempt to get you to provide them with personal information, like your internet banking login details.

Social media scams are where the scammer pretends to be someone you know and ask you for money.

Scams rampant on dating websites and apps

The following online scams i. Links to scam web pages have been removed and spaces have been added to email addresses to ensure they do not become hyperlinks. Other Reported Scams Online Dating scam Earlier this year I joined an internet dating site in the hope, that I might meet someone special.

Protect yourself and reduce your chances of falling for online dating scams by having a professional ID Verification undertaken. Read more.

Lonely and empathetic people need to be extra careful of falling for elaborate stories asking for increasing amounts of money, romance scam figures show. As recent BNZ research shows that a quarter of kiwis who lose money to scams don’t tell anyone, the true loss could be much higher. Financial Service Complaints Ltd FSCL typically gets involved at the point where a money transfer firm, such as Western Union, blocks a transfer upon suspicion of a scam.

Susan Taylor, chief executive officer at FSCL said that by that time, several payments to the scammer may have been made. Among recent cases, the company has dealt with is one where a man had been in an online relationship with a Nigerian woman for eight years. Having seemingly used payments to train as a nurse, the woman asked him for more cash to show local authorities she could purchase flights before joining him in New Zealand.

It wasn’t until a pre-travel cash allowance was blocked by the remitter that the legitimacy of the relationship was questioned. Complaining to the FSCL, the man was adamant his relationship was real, however, couldn’t provide proof to allow the transfer to complete.

Romance scam victims speak out for Fraud Awareness Week

BNZ has released new research that shows 15 per cent of New Zealanders who lose money to scams do not tell anyone what has happened. More than half do not report the crime. They prey on our desire for convenience, the time-poor and those whose attention is pulled in several directions.

Online dating scams have an enormous impact on New Zealanders. If you’re suspicious about a new contact there is an easy way to see if their profile photo is​.

It is not uncommon for locals to enter into marriages with foreign citizens solely for financial or immigration purposes. Relationships developed through correspondance, especially those initiated on the internet, are particularly susceptible to manipulation. Marriage to a New Zealand citizen does not confer New Zealand citizenship, nor does it make the new spouse automatically eligible for entry into New Zealand.

A foreign spouse requires a temporary entry visa to enter and visit New Zealand. These can involve being befriended by a local and asked to join in a friendly game of cards. Once you have won a few times, the stakes increase and your winning streak disappears. These scams can have serious consequences – local gangs have been known to force victims into withdrawing large sums from ATM machines.

Avoid getting involved in card games. You should be vigilant when using credit cards. One common form of credit card fraud uses an electronic device to retrieve and record information, including the PIN, from the card’s magnetic strip. The information is then used to make unauthorised purchases.

Quick tips to help you spot a scam online

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Phising scams are when con artists contact a large group of people in the hope of gathering personal Using social media, email and online dating sites, romance scammers use these platforms to create Age Concern New Zealand. {1}.

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Internet dating scams

Online daters should no longer be considered a desperate minority that trolls the web for love. In fact, a fascinating infographic from Online Schools reveals the truth about on Scam artist from Florida Miami. Put myself on a dating website to see just how out of whack I really am in that arena. Being divorced in your 40’s just is an unfair advant Romance scammer Kelvin Wilden from Lagos Nigeria.

Providing official information on scams and fraud in New Zealand. The person you’ve been talking to online says they love you and they even send you gifts.

Since the large adoption of the internet, the online dating industry moved to set a new standard in the way we find our soulmates. And it worked. According to a study from the University of Chicago, compared to marriages between couples who meet in real life, marriages between couples whose relationships are formed through an online dating site are more likely to last. Unfortunately, with the rise of online dating services came the birth of romance scams.

Romance scams target wealthy women, sometimes widows, who are looking for a new relationship and men who are looking for extra-marital relationships. In most cases, the goal is to defraud the victim out of money. According to the FTC , victims between the ages of 40 and 69 were scammed at the highest rates, while victims aged 70 and above reported the biggest losses.

After registering on a dating website, the victim meets a hacker impersonating a handsome man. Most of the time, this man will have the same nationality as the victim. At the time of contact, he is on a business trip abroad, in the military, or, in the case of high-profile romance scam out of Australia, sailing. Written and audio messages will be exchanged between the scammer and their victim.

Exchanges will intensify, often over a period of a few weeks or a few months—enough time for the victim to get emotionally attached.

Online Dating Scam