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Perth County OPP Warn Of Romance Scams

Web posted on February 07, 2014

(MUNICIPALITY OF NORTH PERTH, ON) On Wednesday February 05, 2014, a Listowel resident contacted the Perth County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) to report she was the victim of a $6,000 scam.

The female reported meeting a friend online through a dating website. She communicated with this man who she believes was living in Nigeria. While communicating on and off for about a year, she started to develop feelings for him and sent him money.

He sent her pictures of himself however she could not verify that these were actually pictures of the man she had sent the money. She had sent the money at his request, through a common money transfer company.

With Valentine's Day only a week away the public is urged to be aware that "Romance and Dating" scams are becoming increasingly more common. Single or recently unattached people are among the growing number of vulnerable population to be victimized by these scams that occur through e-mail, social media and singles dating websites.

Fraudsters will express false romantic intentions towards a victim and will gain their attention and trust (sometimes with the promise of marriage). They often gain access to the victim's money, bank account and credit cards.

You can protect yourself by falling victim to these types of scams by considering the following:

- Use only legitimate and reputable dating websites. Fraudsters often create fake websites with similar addresses to legitimate dating websites.

- Do not send money or provide credit card information to anyone you don't know and trust. Sending money to a foreign country via a money transfer service to someone you have not personally met should be a red flag.

- Be skeptical at all times, and always ask yourself, does this sound legitimate.

- Be careful while giving out personal information about yourself in an e-mail or when you are chatting on-line.

Be informed and stay on top of the latest twists in scams. If you suspect that you may be a target of a fraud, or if you have already sent funds, don't be embarrassed, you are not alone.

You can contact the Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre.ca or by calling 1-888-495-8501. You can also contact the Perth County OPP Detachment at 1-888-310-1122.


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