High cost of looking for ‘love’
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.