Published on:

July 6, 2018

This narrative produces a physiological effect in the victim’s brain, through powerful neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. These brain chemicals increase levels of trust, bonding and deep feelings of love and euphoria. This is the reason victims are convinced to send money; they want to be supportive in the ‘relationship’. Requests for money are often quite plausible, such as needing the funds to buy airline tickets to come and see the victim. Motivation to send money is high because the victim wants to meet their love interest and continue to build the envisioned future together.

Relationship scams cost Australians and New Zealanders a total of $21,045,822 over this period, with an average loss of $117,575 per event. Only $578,400 total was reportedly recovered. Victims on average, took 5 and a half months to realise their involvement in a relationship scam, and had an average of 3.93 credentials compromised during their event. These events result in considerable emotional and mental health impacts. Slightly less than half of relationship scam victims experienced a subsequent identity fraud; such as new mobile phone accounts established in the victim’s name, unauthorised access to the victim’s superannuation account, manipulation of the individual’s social media accounts, and damage to their reputation.

IDCARE's community counselling services are available for family and friends of relationship scam victims as well as individuals directly and currently engaged with scammers. If you or anyone you know may be experiencing relationship scams, contact IDCARE to receive free and anonymous support and advice.

Relationship scams autopsy


Other News

IDCARE is always active in the media from radio to TV, social media and news articles. Keep up to date with what's happening at IDCARE and in the media.

Blackmail Scams

Blackmail emails are a popular way for criminals to make money.

more info

October 16, 2018

Warning & Response Advice: Smishing (SMS-TEXT) Fraud Event

IDCARE is currently assisting members of the community that are experiencing one of eight types of fraudulent SMS text messages (known as Smishing).

more info

November 6, 2019

PageUp data incident

PageUp Limited data incident to the integrity of their systems.

more info
Data Breaches

May 17, 2018


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.   
Call Centre Icon


1800 595 160

Mon - Fri: 8am - 5pm AEST

QLD: 07 3555 5900
ACT & NSW: 02 8999 3356
VIC: 03 7018 2366
NT, SA & WA08 7078 7741

Call Centre Icon

call our NEW ZEALAND

0800 121 068

Mon - Fri: 10am - 7pm NZST

AKL: 09 884 4440