Norfolk resident out $200,000 in alleged ‘romance scam’ | #ukscams | #datingscams | #european

They thought they were in love. Instead, they were duped.

Norfolk County OPP say a resident was bilked of more than $200,000 during what police are calling a year-long “romance scam.”

The alleged scammer struck up an online relationship with the victim in March 2021.

Police say the scammer wove a tale of woe that convinced the victim to send money to help with several fabricated “emergencies.”

The victim called police late last week and the investigation is ongoing.

An OPP report released on Valentine’s Day said romance scams are on the rise.

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, romance fraud victims reported losses of $64.6 million last year — a sharp increase over the $27.9 million reported in 2020.

“These losses have a devastating effect on victims,” said acting Sgt. Ed Sanchuk.

“It’s not always easy to spot scams, and new ones are invented every day,” he said.

“Knowledge is power. Inform yourself on how to recognize the various types of scams and protect your personal information.”

According to the experts at the CAFC, romance scams thrive in secret. Victims are made to feel a false sense of urgency and are tricked into making snap decisions.

To avoid being scammed, slow down, take a breath, and ask yourself if the situation makes sense.

“Always get independent advice — from family members, a trusted friend or adviser — if any offers involve money, personal information, time or commitment,” Sanchuk said.

Not all romance scams are elaborate. Police say several Norfolk residents have been extorted in recent months after sharing explicit videos or photos of themselves while chatting online to someone they think is interested in them romantically.

The scammer then immediately demands cash and threatens to release the images to family, friends or employers.

On Saturday, police say a female scammer told a Norfolk County man she would post the intimate video he had sent her to social media unless he transferred her $350.

Instead, he called police.

“Everyone needs to realize the long- and short-term dangers when requests are made to send out sexually explicit photographs or videos,” Sanchuk said.

“Once it’s out there, you can’t get it back.”

J.P. Antonacci’s reporting on Haldimand and Norfolk is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.

Click Here For The Original Source.

. . . . . . .