Internet Dating Just Got a Little Scarry

Halton Police: "Beware of the Dating and Romance Scam"

Internet Dating Just Got a Little Scarry
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Dave Cross

Dave Cross

Sgt. Dave Cross #1932 is the Media Relations Officer with the Halton Regional Police Service. His office is located at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville, ON.

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The Halton Regional Police Fraud Unit is seeing an increase in the number of people falling victim to the “Dating and Romance scam”.

This is a scam where fraudsters set up fictitious accounts on legitimate dating websites or they will set up their own websites to look very similar to legitimate websites in order to lure potential victims.

These fraudsters will commence on-line communications with potential victims and try to quickly build up a “friendship” or “relationship”. They will often claim to have a very sick family member (usually from another country). Before long, the fraudster will start asking for the victim to send money to help their sick relative.

In other cases, the fraudsters will try to build a “friendship” by sending flowers or other small gifts. After building a relationship, the fraudster will talk about having a large amount of money that they need to transfer out of their country, or that they want to share with the victim. They will convince the victim to provide their banking details or ask for money to help cover administrative fees or taxes supposedly required to free up the money.

Protect yourself from falling victim to this scam if you use on-line dating sites by:

• Never send money, or give credit card or online account details to anyone you do not personally know and trust.
• Don’t give out any personal information in an e-mail or when you are chatting online.
• Make sure you use only legitimate and reputable dating websites.
• Be very suspicious if someone you’ve met through online dating is asking to borrow money or to have you send them money.
• If you suspect that you are being targeted by one of these fraudsters, immediately stop all communication with them and report the fraudster through the dating website and/or your local police.
• If you have been a victim of this scam and have not reported it to police, don’t be embarrassed or ashamed. This scam is designed by the fraudsters to play on your emotions and to purposely make you feel that way. People from all walks of life fall for this scam so please, report it to your local police.
• If you suspect a friend or family member is being preyed upon, contact your local police so that you can help prevent them from being a victim.

Contact: Detective Ron Hansen – Regional Fraud Unit – 905 465-8982

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