High cost of look­ing for ‘love’

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - SO­PHIE ELSWORTH

SEARCH­ING for true love is leav­ing many hope­less ro­man­tics not only bro­ken hearted but fi­nan­cially dis­traught.

The des­per­ate and date­less are be­ing warned to be care­ful of on­line scam­mers ahead of Valen­tine’s Day and ig­nore odd Face­book re­quests or in­ter­ac­tions on dat­ing web­sites that seem sus­pi­cious.

One of the na­tion’s big­gest banks, ANZ, set up a ded­i­cated ro­mance scams unit in mid 2017 to tackle fraud­sters and they’ve al­ready been in­un­dated with hun­dreds of in­quiries.

This in­cludes more than 700 in­ves­ti­ga­tions that have cost un­sus­pect­ing vic­tims a whop­ping $3.7 mil­lion.

ANZ’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of re­tail dis­tri­bu­tion, Ca­tri­ona Noble, said vic­tims were of­ten un­able to re­cover any money they sent to some­one who they be­lieved was their true lover.

“What might be an in­no­cent friend re­quest on Face­book or an in­ter­ac­tion on a dat­ing site ... if you are mak­ing con­nec­tions with peo­ple on­line that is dif­fer­ent to be­ing in­tro­duced to some­one by a com­mon friend or col­league,’’ she said.

Aus­tralians aged 55 and over are more likely to be scammed. ACCC fig­ures show in 2017 there were more than 3740 ro­mance scams re­ported and $20.3 mil­lion lost.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.