Burnaby news: Violent videos in romance scams | #youtubescams | #lovescams | #datingscams

Mounties are warning that a string of romance scams reported in recent weeks have been especially coercive, using violent videos to intimidate victims.

Burnaby RCMP said it’s received at least nine reports in the past month of adults who shared personal information through dating services and were later blackmailed for money.

In three of those incidents, police said, the fraudsters allegedly sent videos that showed them driving to the victim’s house with AR-15-style rifles. They also threatened to kill the victim and their family after the victim shared their home addresses.

In follow-up messages, the suspects reportedly sent the victims graphic photographs of dead bodies.

“We have seen romance scams before, but this one is unique due to the graphic and alarming videos and pictures that are sent to the victims as a scare tactic,” said Cpl. Alexa Hodgins in a news release.

“We want the public to be aware of this scam method to prevent victims from sending money out of fear.”

Mounties recommend those using online services to make new relationships do a reverse Google image search of the person to see if their photo was copied from the internet. Individuals should also never send people they meet online money or give them personal information like an address, birthday, social insurance number or banking details.

Victims of fraud should report incidents to their local police. 

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