If you agree to meet a prospective partner in person, tell family and friends where you are going. Have you been scammed? If you met on a dating site they will try and move you away from the site and communicate via chat or email. 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. Avoid any arrangement with a stranger that asks for up-front payment via money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer, pre-loaded card or electronic currency, like Bitcoin. They often claim to be from Australia or another western country, but travelling or working overseas. Never agree to transfer money for someone else. Warning - the above scenarios are very likely to be forms of money laundering which is a criminal offence.
Do not agree to transfer money for someone else: Spread the word to your friends and family to protect them. 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. Have you been scammed? Never agree to transfer money for someone else. They often claim to be from Australia or another western country, but travelling or working overseas. Scammers can use your information and pictures to create a fake identity or to target you with a scam. Online dating and romance scams cheat Australians out of millions every year. Be very careful about how much personal information you share on social network sites. If you agree to meet a prospective partner in person, tell family and friends where you are going. Scammers may attempt to lure their victims overseas, putting you in dangerous situations that can have tragic consequences. It is rare to recover money sent this way. Consider carefully the advice on www. They may use a fictional name, or falsely take on the identities of real, trusted people such as military personnel, aid workers or professionals working abroad. You might even be asked to accept money into your bank account and then transfer it to someone else. Scammers are known to blackmail their targets using compromising material. They may also ask you to send pictures or videos of yourself, possibly of an intimate nature. Dating and romance scammers will express strong emotions for you in a relatively short period of time, and will suggest you move the relationship away from the website to a more private channel, such as phone, email or instant messaging. They will tell you they need your money to cover administrative fees or taxes. Often the scammer will pretend to need the money for some sort of personal emergency. This helps us to warn people about current scams, monitor trends and disrupt scams where possible. Sometimes the scammer will send you valuable items such as laptop computers and mobile phones, and ask you to resend them somewhere. Scamwatch strongly recommends you do not travel overseas to meet someone you have never met before. If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately. Regardless of how you are scammed, you could end up losing a lot of money. Avoid any arrangement with a stranger that asks for up-front payment via money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer, pre-loaded card or electronic currency, like Bitcoin. Be wary of requests for money.
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