Internet Dating and Romance Scams

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Internet scams reap $8.5 million

March 3rd, 2009

IN hard times holding on to a job let alone your money is hard enough, yet Queenslanders are falling for Internet scams to the tune of $8.5 million in the past year.

In a quest for easy cash Queenslanders are sending thousands of dollars overseas every week with more than $700,000 per month being sent to countries such as Nigeria and Ghana and Europe.

advance fee fraud, the process of people being contacted and asked to pay money for access to a business opportunity or to release an inheritance is costing the community both financially and emotionally, say police.

Detective Inspector Jason Saunders of the State Crime Operations Command Fraud and Corporate Crime Group said this crime is having a huge impact.
“We are constantly being contacted by Queenslanders who have sent thousands of dollars overseas only to discover they have been scammed.

“This past year alone, in excess of $8.5 million has been sent to countries such as Nigeria and Ghana in addition to syndicate members based and operating out of Europe,” he said.

The Queensland Police Service has set up a web-based reporting system for the scams.

“The Advance Fee relationship scam operates by an offender contacting a victim and engaging them in a friendship or relationship. After some time the offender will disclose they have a problem and ask that money be sent to them or a third party to resolve it.

“These scams have evolved over time and recently there have been examples of advance fee fraud using online dating and romance sites. Victims become emotionally involved in their relationship and believe that sending money to the other party will strengthen their relationship.

“We have victims approaching us each week. Usually they’ve been promised a great return on a small investment or an inheritance.

“These scams are based on the same premise – victims being lured into the promise of fast or easy money. We are constantly telling these victims or potential victims that if it sounds too good to be true, then it generally is,” said Detective Inspector Saunders.

Detective Inspector Saunders said the police website alleviated the embarrassment some people often felt when reporting these crimes.

“It is a non-confrontational and an effective way for law enforcement agencies to work together to address these crimes,” Detective Inspector Saunders said.

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March 3, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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