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.
IDCARE is here to provide you with specialist support and guidance when faced with a cyber and identity related issue. Contact one of our Identity & Cyber Security Case Managers to learn more about our Support Services and how we can help you.
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New Zealand Relay provides services to help Deaf, hearing impaired, speech impaired, Deafblind and standard phone users communicate with their peers. A TTY user connects to New Zealand Relay via a toll-free number and types their conversation to a Relay Assistant (RA) who then reads out the typed message to a standard phone user (hearing person).
The RA relays the hearing person's spoken words by typing them back to the Textphone (TTY) User.
The National Relay Service (NRS) is an Australian government initiative that allows people who are deaf, hard of hearing and/or have a speech impairment to make and receive phone calls.
The NRS is available 24 hours a day, every day and relays more than a million calls each year throughout Australia.