Gardai advising people to be aware of ‘romance scams’ as one Irish woman lost €48,000 | #datingscams


Gardai are advising people to beware of ‘romance scams’ after one Irish woman lost €48,000 to a fraudster she met online.

The woman was scammed out of €48,000 over the course of thirteen months after being lured into the scam with expensive gifts, including ‘scarves and perfumes’, before being asked to invest in her suitor’s business.

The woman initially delayed reporting the crime to Gardai as she was married at the time.

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Gardai are urging people to be vigilant on dating apps as the full extent of the scam is not fully known as many victims are ‘too embarrassed’ to come forward.

The organisation said in a press release: “Victims of the scam believe they have met their perfect match online, but the other person is in fact a scammer using a fake profile to build the relationship.

“They slowly gain the victim’s trust with a view to eventually asking them for money.”

Detective Inspector Catharina Gunne from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau added: “Romance fraudsters may try to get their victims to send them money using the following excuses:

• To cover the cost of travelling to see the victim.

• For emergency medical expenses for the scammer or a family member — typically a child.

• A business opportunity which would allow them to live together comfortably.”

She continued: “In the beginning, the amount of money requested will often be small but increases as the scammer becomes more successful in building the ‘relationship’ and tricking the victim.”

Recently, a romance fraudster in the west of Ireland was found guilty of taking nearly €19,000 over a five month period from a victim they first contacted on a popular dating website.

What do Gardai say to look for?

Romance Fraudsters will often:

• Try to move communications away from dating websites.

• Ask a lot of personal questions.

• Avoid answering personal questions about themselves.

• Try to establish a bond quickly. For example, they may give you an endearing pet name e.g. baby, darling, etc.

• Ask for financial help. They may tell you about money problems in the hope that you’ll offer to help.

• Never meet you in person. They will present obstacles and may go as far as making arrangements and cancelling them at the last minute. They may promise to want to see you but offer excuses which delay this, such as financial troubles.

What can you do?

1. Use trusted dating websites.

2. Do not share personal details.

3. Do not send or receive money.

4. Think twice before using your webcam.

5. Trust your instincts.

What can you do if you have been impacted by a romance scam?

If you believe that you are a victim of a romance scam, or think your identity or personal information has been compromised, you can contact any Garda Station to report the crime in confidence or call the Garda Confidential Line Free-phone 1800 666111.





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