Beware of online romance scams | #datingscams | #russianliovescams | #lovescams

In today’s world of technology, people can connect in a myriad of ways. For most, connecting with someone on the internet is harmless but for others a chance encounter leaves a wake of destruction that can never be forgotten.

When you mix a vulnerable heart, the internet and a criminal mind, it is a recipe for what police call a romance scam. In 2020, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre received 1,548 complaints of romance scams, which resulted in losses of over $28 million dollars.

How does this happen? The victim usually meets the fraudster through a social networking or dating site. Fraudsters have demonstrated perseverance and a willingness to develop relationships over long periods of time to build trust. They embed themselves into the victim’s life to manipulate them and gain access to money, bank accounts, and credit cards. The fraudsters will misrepresent themselves by sending appealing images of other people to bolster their identity profile and seduce their victims. Good trusting people from all walks of life, just looking for companionship, let down their guard and get taken in with promises of love, riches and even marriage.

In some cases, the fraudster claims to be living overseas. Promises to meet the victim in person are made to keep the victim interested. When it is time to meet, they come up with a multitude of excuses for why they are unable to travel. Stories of family illnesses, business ventures gone wrong or problems with government processes are just a few. At some point, the fraudster always seeks financial assistance from the victim.

If the victim does not have funds readily available, the fraudster offers to have a third party send a cheque for deposit or an electronic deposit to the victim’s personal bank account. This is usually followed by instructions to withdraw the money and utilize a fast money transfer company to wire the money. By the time the victim discovers a problem with the cheque or becomes suspicious, the money is usually long gone, leaving the victim heartbroken and in some cases penniless.

For more information on warning signs or how to protect yourself, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website at

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