A woman has revealed how she was almost scammed by an online Casanova while playing a popular online word game.
Barbara El-Gamal was playing a harmless game of Words with Friends, when she was forced to play the word ‘tit’, as a result of poor letters.
After taking her turn, she was surprised by her male component’s response, that he bet ‘she had the best ones going’.
The Ukrainian user, who described himself as a private civilian doctor, was one of thousands of online scammers trying to trick women into sending cash over the internet.
Barbara El-Gamal said the online scammer told her he was a Ukrainian private civilian doctor
Ms El-Gamal, who previously worked with NSW Fair Trading, told The Sydney Morning Herald she’s used to spotting online fraudsters and has noticed an increase in the number of people lurking on the app.
But as it turn out, romance fraud is one of the biggest of all scams operating in Australia, with reported losses of $20.5million annually to Scamwatch, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
ACCC deputy chairwoman Delia Rickard said these numbers are just the tip of the iceberg, with fraudsters, previously using dating apps, now preying on unsuspecting victims on gaming and social media sites.
According to the ACCC website, dating and romance scams have increased by nearly 30 per cent in the last two years.
‘Social media has overtaken online dating sites as the most common way for dating and romance scammers to contact potential victims,’ Ms Rickard said.
As Ms El-Gamal explained, genuine gamers don’t use provocative jargon, and, for the most part, avoid conversation completely – aside from the dull hellos and goodbyes.
Ms El-Gamal said genuine gamers, for the most part, avoid conversation completely – aside from the dull hellos and goodbyes
Another online gamer called Sherrylc, who had a similar experience to Ms El-Gamal, reached out to other people on Zynga’s online forum.
Sherrylc told her fellow gamers that a scammer using the name Richard Bricks tried to scam her out of money by asking her to give him money in the form of iTune gift cards.
It was only when Sherrylc did a random search of Richard that she realised his profile photo was of Argentinian actor Juan Soler.
‘Ladies beware of Richard Bricks, his Words picture of him and his daughter is of Argentina Actor Juan Soler,’ she wrote on the forum.
Sherrylc told her fellow gamers that a scammer using the name Richard Bricks tried to scam her out of money by asking her to give him money in the form of iTune gift cards
Sherrylc said the trickster would stop at nothing to get what he was after, and she added that unlike other scammers, ‘Richard’ has perfect spelling and can ‘write a love letter like no other’.
People need to take care when playing online games and be aware there are dishonest people out there, trolling online games and social media sites looking for unsuspecting victims, Ms Rickard said.
She added, tricksters will stop at nothing to scam people, and she warned gamers to never give out personal information to strangers, such as money, gift cards, and credit card numbers.