The government is warning those looking for love to click with caution this Valentine’s Day, with the release of online romance scam statistics from the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC).
Protect yourself from online romance scams
- Never transfer money via direct deposit, money order or international transfer.
- Be mindful about the personal information that you share with someone online.
- Avoid sharing compromising material, which scammers can use to blackmail you.
The ACCC says Australians lost over $24.3 million to dating and romance scams last year. This included almost $10 million in February alone.
More than 80 per cent of romance scam reports, and 90 per cent of monetary losses, resulted from online scams.
Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Matt Kean warned that online romance scams can happen within days or years of meeting someone.
“Online romance scammers are very adept at grooming vulnerable people and asking for money due to a fake personal issue or financial misfortune,” Mr Kean said.