Looking for love online? There is a lot more to worry about than a broken heart

Looking for love online? There is a lot more to worry about than a broken heart

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Published on:

October 6, 2020

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.

Here are some tips for staying safe when meeting someone online:

  • Be sure to meet in person or at least ask to see the person via a video (photos are not enough as they are easy to fake).
  • Never share driver licence details, passports, or other identification documents (eg. Proof of Age or student cards).
  • Don’t send money or agree to do personal transactions for someone you’ve never met face-to-face.

You can read the full ABC article here.

Think you might be involved in a relationship scam? Check out our video on Romance Scam Advice in the Learning Centre to find out more.

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