AFTER Australians lost more than $28 million to romance scammers last year, ACT Fair Trading commissioner David Snowden is warning Canberrans to be vigilant in the lead up to Valentine’s Day.
“We know that many people find love and happiness online, but there are scammers out there who may not be who they claim to be,” Mr Snowden says.
“These scammers often exploit people through online dating sites or apps, spending months building up a realistic profile and then asking for money once they’ve established a sense of trust.”
With Valentine’s Day tomorrow (February 14) Mr Snowden is urging people to use these tips:
- Do a google image search or a “TinEye” reverse image search to check if their profile is legitimate.
- Be open to the idea that scammers are prevalent online.
- Be careful about the amount of personal information you share and avoid sharing compromising material, which scammers can use to blackmail you.
- If you’re meeting someone in person, let your family and friends know where you are going.
- Don’t give money to someone if you haven’t met them in person.
- If you think you’ve given your bank account details to a scammer, immediately contact your bank or financial institution to stop any further losses.