Romance proves costly for Norfolk woman
After a Norfolk woman was bilked of more than $40,000, Norfolk OPP are again warning the public to learn the signs of a scam.
The police said they were contacted Nov. 1 by a woman explaining she had met a man through a social media website and established an online relationship with him.
While corresponding with each other, he gave details of his history and employment status.
He then explained an emergency had occurred and then other emergencies happened.
Police said the woman forwarded funds through different transactions, totalling more than $40,000.
The police note that it’s often single or recently single females who are in the growing number of vulnerable people victimized through fraud, often associated with email blasts, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and dating websites.
Money transfers through a romance or dating scam is one of the most prevalent forms of the fraud, costing some victims up to hundreds of thousands of dollars before the relationship ends.
“It’s not always easy to spot scams and new ones are invented every day,” said Const. Ed Sanchuk in a Norfolk OPP news release about the fraud.
“If you want to stay on top of scams, inform yourself on how to recognize the various types of scams.”
Sanchuk suggests getting some independent advice from a family member or trusted friend if any offer on the Internet involves money, personal information, time or commitment.
As to romance scams, Sanchuk urges people to question whether someone they’ve never met would declare their love after just a few letters or emails.
Other tips are:
• Don’t give out personal information online but check details someone else is sharing like company names or addresses used and ask “Is this normal?”
• Don’t send money or give credit card or account details to anyone you don’t trust. A request to send money to a foreign country using Western Union or MoneyGram to someone you’ve never met in person should raise red flags. Examine website addresses.
• Scammers often use sites with very similar addresses to legitimate dating websites. Stick with reputable dating sites.
For more information, go to www.opp.ca, the Canadian AntiFraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre.ca or call the centre at 1-888-495-8501.