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Around the Traps

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Around the Traps

Antar addresses what a romance scam is, how you can spot a romance scammer and tips to avoid this happening to you.

In 2019 there were 3,300 reports of dating and romance scams that totalled up to a loss of $26,761,176 across Australia

Fraudsters tap into emotional triggers to get victims to provide money, gifts or personal details and unfortunately it’s these types of scams that people fall victim to.

Victims are often targeted through dating websites, apps or through social media. Whilst many other scams can happen quickly, romance scammers often take their time to build an emotional connection over a number of conversations with the full intention of taking advantage of their victims. They will go to great lengths to gain a victim’s trust including sharing their supposed ‘personal information’, using love language and by sending gifts.

Once the scammers have gained the victim’s trust, they will pretend to need money for a personal emergency such as an ill family member or financial hardship. Victims can lose everything from their superannuation and life savings to someone they were led to believe was the love of their life.

Generally, when friends and family become aware of the scam and discuss the issue, victims will be in denial and will continue to communicate with the scammers. If you are assisting the victim, you should ensure that all contact with the scammer stops.

How can you spot a dating and romance scammer? Usually, these scammers don’t keep their promises and always have excuses why they cannot meet in person, they also become desperate or persistence if you don’t send them money straight away.

After just a few online conversations, they can profess strong feelings for you and ask to chat away from the dating site or app you are using, making it harder for them to be reported.

Would you give a substantial amount of money or perform regular transfers to a stranger you see in the street? This principle should also be applied for any online and social relationship.

How can you stop this happening to you, a family member or friend?

  • Avoid giving out your personal details to someone you don’t know.
  • Be wary of money requests. Never send money to someone you’ve never met in person. Often these scams are linked to organised crime syndicates in the business of money laundering.
  • Try to remove the emotion from your decision making no matter how caring or persistent the ‘prospective partner’ is.
  • Be very careful about how much personal information you share on social network sites. Scammers can use your information and pictures to connect with victims and create a fake identity.
  • Be cautious of inconsistencies in stories.
  • If the person doesn’t want to meet, or can’t meet, ask them for a skype date or video call. If they are who they say they are, they shouldn’t mind confirming that and getting to know the real you too.
  • For any first meetings in person, always meet in a public place and tell a friend where you’re going. Don’t give them your address.
  • Qudos Bank encourages all members to regularly keep up to date with latest trends and case studies, including Romance Scams by visiting Scam Watch and sharing this information with family and friends.
  • Consider changing email addresses or phone numbers if you believe that the scammer may attempt to contact you again
  • If you are a victim, family member or friend, block the scammer email address or ‘unfriend’ them from any social media sites or applications and report them accordingly.
  • If you are genuinely concerned for the member’s well-being, you may report the scam to the ACCC on someone else’s behalf.

Fraud and scams come in many different forms and in order to protect yourself, it is important to understand this. To find out more on the most common types of security risks and how to protect yourself against these, visit qudosbank.com.au/Security.

If you are concerned about the security of your accounts and information, please contact us during business hours on 1300 747 747 or send us a secure email via Online Banking.

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