Many realize that it’s usually impossible to recover any of the money sent to scammers. By educating yourself and those around you about the tactics online fraudsters use, you can drastically decrease the chances that you or they will become a victim.
Sometimes the message history is enough to use as a threat, especially if the victim is married or in a long-term relationship and is hiding this online relationship from their significant other.
However, the rise in popularity of online dating has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of romance scams taking place.
Dating and romance scams are nothing new, but with so many people looking for love online, they have become that much more attractive and accessible to online criminals.
In Canada last year, 750 victims lost CAD million (~ GBP £10 million).
Victims are often too embarrassed to come forward, so these numbers may be grossly underreported.
Although the common perception is that you’d have to be really stupid to fall for one of these cons, that’s often not the case.