Gardaí in Cork are warning people to be wary of sending money to anyone they have met online.
They are currently investigating a number of cases of so-called “romance fraud”.
According to a report in today’s Irish Examiner, the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau is pursuing a number of cases where people have lost large sums of money in online transactions.
Romance fraud involves people being targeted for money after meeting someone via social media or a dating app.
The scammer will fake a romantic relationship with the victim, before encouraging them to send money.
One person reportedly lost over €100,000, while another was tricked into sending thousands of euro worth of bitcoin to a person he met online.
In many cases, the scams operate outside of Ireland, making it very difficult to get money back or bring perpetrators to justice.
Gardaí have stressed that no one should be embarrassed if they are a victim of such scams, many of which are very sophisticated or target vulnerable people.