More than just money: Getting caught in a romance scam could cost you your life | #datingscams | #russianliovescams | #lovescams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | | #dating

When Sydney grandmother Maria Exposto was last week sentenced to death by a Malaysian court for drug trafficking, she wasn’t the first Australian to be caught overseas with drugs, or to face the death penalty as a result.

However, what is both unique and troubling about the 57-year-old’s case is that she is the first known Australian to be handed the death penalty as a result of romance scam.

The Australian and Competition Consumer Commission’s Targeting Scams report, out last week, revealed that $42 million was reportedly lost to romance fraud by Australian victims in 2017.

But Exposto’s case shows that the consequences of romance fraud are not just financial — it could cost you your life.

Maria’s case

Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto was arrested in Kuala Lumpur Airport in 2014, with more than a kilogram of crystal methamphetamine sewn into her suitcase.

Throughout her arrest and subsequent court case, she maintained that she was the victim of romance fraud.


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