IDCARE Managing Director, Professor David Lacey says reports of romance scams to our National Case Management Centre have increased by 40% during the coronavirus pandemic.
But those affected by these kinds of scams are facing a new risk - they could find themselves in trouble with the law.
As highlighted in this article by the ABC Sunshine Coast, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says people caught up in romance scams were also being used as mules for money laundering.
This happened to a 49-year-old woman on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast who was lucky to avoid criminal fraud charges after she unknowingly laundered $150,000 for an organised crime group.
The woman thought was she was falling in love with a US Army official she met online, but this wasn’t the case.