Real life stories | Scamwatch
Unfortunately, online dating scams are all too common. There may be tens of .. The story about finding gold bars is not true. The US Army has warnings online. Jennifer's Story – Dating and Money Laundering Scam. by Brett M. I had never used an online dating site since I had always met my lovers in real life. Well. Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but They may use a fictional name, or falsely take on the identities of real, trusted months or even years – they tell you an elaborate story and ask for money, gifts.
Her advice might sound obvious, but a growing number of people are falling prey to dating scams, Hongkongers included. The scammer claimed he needed money urgently for an engineering project, and promised to pay it back after completion of the project. In the first half of this year, online dating and romance scam cases were reported in the city, up 2.
InHong Kong Police released a videobased on a real-life case, hoping it would raise awareness about romance scams. Hannaford is also on a mission to raise awareness.
Politicians have spoken out on the subject. Hong Kong-based dating and relationship coach Valentina Tudose says internet dating scams are a painful reality for many women — and smart professional women are falling prey.
Police figures show that women account for 95 per cent of victims, and they generally possess higher academic qualifications, are computer-literate and able to communicate in English.
People have little free time due to long working hours, and a gender imbalance, with males for every 1, females, according to the Census and Statistics Department.
Hongkonger Ginny Lim, not her real name, is under family pressure to find a husband. She is 32, has a good job in digital marketing, but has never had a serious boyfriend.
Real life stories
She has used dating sites but is wary and believes pressure to get married is a reason why so many women fall for romance scams. Scammers buy cheap gifts on [Chinese shopping site] Taobao and then expect the recipient to buy more expensive gifts in return Ramon Yuen, district councillor In the age of dating apps and socially acceptable e-stalking, a new lexicon has evolved.
Another is ghosting, when someone ends a relationship by disappearing suddenly without explanation, withdrawing from all communication. For example, they may claim to have a severely ill family member who requires immediate medical attention such as an expensive operation, or they may claim financial hardship due to an unfortunate run of bad luck such as a failed business or mugging in the street.
Woman loses $, in online dating scam
The scammer may also claim they want to travel to visit you, but cannot afford it unless you are able to lend them money to cover flights or other travel expenses. Sometimes the scammer will send you valuable items such as laptop computers and mobile phones, and ask you to resend them somewhere.
They will invent some reason why they need you to send the goods but this is just a way for them to cover up their criminal activity.
Alternatively they may ask you to buy the goods yourself and send them somewhere. You might even be asked to accept money into your bank account and then transfer it to someone else.
Warning - the above scenarios are very likely to be forms of money laundering which is a criminal offence. Never agree to transfer money for someone else. They will tell you they need your money to cover administrative fees or taxes.
Woman loses $150,000 in online dating scam
Scammers may attempt to lure their victims overseas, putting you in dangerous situations that can have tragic consequences. Regardless of how you are scammed, you could end up losing a lot of money. Online dating and romance scams cheat Australians out of millions every year. The money you send to scammers is almost always impossible to recover and, in addition, you may feel long-lasting emotional betrayal at the hands of someone you thought loved you.
If you met on a dating site they will try and move you away from the site and communicate via chat or email. Their messages are often poorly written, vague and escalate quickly from introduction to love.
Always consider the possibility that the approach may be a scam, particularly if the warning signs listed above appear. You can use image search services such as Google or TinEye.
Dating & romance | Scamwatch
Scammers are known to blackmail their targets using compromising material. If you agree to meet a prospective partner in person, tell family and friends where you are going.
Scamwatch strongly recommends you do not travel overseas to meet someone you have never met before.