Internet-dating sites provide easy pickings for these scammers.
He says an equal number of men and women are targetted, but they’re usually between the ages of 39 and 50, old enough to have available funds to transfer overseas.
“I work from 3 to 11 p.m., so it’s difficult to meet someone,” says the 54-year-old who lives just outside Ottawa.
She signed up with online-dating service Mate1and created a profile stating she was looking for “a good friend, companion and soulmate.” Here’s what Martin didn’t realize: By signing up to meet her “soulmate,” she added her personal information to the kind of database increasingly used by domestic and international con artists.
With Valentine’s day approaching, some lonely souls may be looking for love on their favourite dating site, but beware the number of people caught up in romance scams is growing and police say only a small fraction of the victims report the crime. the FBI says 0 million were lost in relationship scams last year.
Last year, 715 Canadian victims reported losing more than million to romance fraud, according to the Canadian anti-fraud centre, that’s a million dollars more than last year. Halton fraud detective Mark Underwood says he deals with a romance scam victim at least twice a month.