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Police believe dozens of Australian victims could be linked to alleged romance scam | #datingscams | #lovescams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | #match.com | #dating

Police believe there could be dozens of victims linked to a “cruel” romance scam across Australia after two elderly men came forward with their stories.

The two men — one from near Toowoomba and another from Far North Queensland — signed up to what they thought was a personal advertisement for paid dating service last year, according to police. 

Once the men paid the service they were put into contact with a woman who claimed to be a widow aged in her 50s. 

Police said as they got to know each other the woman asked for large sums of money, which she allegedly needed to get out of a work contract. 

Both men paid the woman large sums of money — of $42,000 and $343,500 respectively — before they eventually went to police. 

Two women are due to face court next month.(Supplied: Queensland Police Service)

Officers said the Toowoomba man spoke with police after a friend suggested the relationship may have been a scam, while it wasn’t until the woman ceased contact before the Far North Queensland man reported the matter to police in March. 

Police said they investigated the matter, and in July they raided three Gold Coast properties and arrested two women. 

Police allege they found almost $80,000 cash hidden inside pillows during a raid at a Benowa property. 

Searches lead to third alleged victim

Police said they found evidence during the searches which allegedly led them to a third victim involved in the same scam. 

They allege a man aged in his 50s was defrauded of more $111,000.

An advertisement in a newspaper that police allege is linked to the investigation.(Supplied: Queensland Police)

But officers believe more victims could be out there and the investigation is ongoing. 

Far North High Risk Investigations Team officer Matthew Hogan said dozens of people across the country could be impacted.  

“To defraud any person is horrible, but to specifically seek out mature people who may be vulnerable, it’s cruel and QPS will investigate all matters, until alleged offenders are before the court and support is provided to those victims,” Detective Sergeant Hogan said.

“We urge anyone who has information which could assist in investigating fraudulent activity, to come forward.”


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