Canadians lost $60 million to romance scams in 2022, says CAFC | #ukscams | #datingscams | #european | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | | #dating

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) want everyone to be aware of scammers this Valentine’s Day.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) reported that frauds are up 40 per cent this year, with the over $59 million from romance scams accounting for a small amount of the unprecedented $530 million in total victim losses in 2022. 

What’s staggering about this amount is that the CAFC estimate that only 5-10 per cent of victims actually report the scams.

A romance scam is when a fraudster fakes an interest in a relationship with the victim online – through e-mail, chat groups, social media, dating sites or even through online platforms where like-minded people hangout online – to gain their trust before they use a typically dramatic, “soap-opera” excuse for needing money.

John Armit is a Detective Constable with the Anti-Rackets Branch and he explained what to look out for when talking to someone online.

“Fraudsters are seeking out individuals online who are looking for a partner in life or a companion or a love interest,” said Armit. “They are using digital technology to convince these people, in a virtual setting, that their relationship is thriving and they attempt to gain trust from these individuals and affection. Once that’s started, then the ask for money starts coming out.”

Armit added that the scammer will always have a reason to not meet in person, travel to see you, or chat on a video call in order to conceal their identity. He also shared examples of advice for people to catch onto the scam early.

“There’s various methods you can use… but the best thing is to be your own detective,” stated Armit. “You can use reverse google image search to check out photos of individuals because the [scammers] like to steal images from other platforms. Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know, never send money to individuals you don’t know.”


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