Romance fraud: Over €7m lost through scams in five years | #DatingScams | #LoveScams | #RomanceScans

Over €7m has been lost to romance scams in Ireland over the last five years, according to An Garda Síochána.

They are advising people to be extra careful this Valentine’s Day, especially on dating apps which see a surge in popularity this time of year.

The average loss of the 245 victims of romance fraud to have come forward to Gardaí since 2020 was €28,500,

The highest reported loss by a single victim in Ireland during this time was €450,000, which was stolen from a woman over 18 transactions.

One male victim also had more than €380,000 taken from him.

Case study

Gardaí have described how one victim, a man aged in his 30s, fell for a scam.

“This man connected with a female purporting to be living in Asia, on a dating site,” they said.

“Following much communication by phone, they subsequently agreed to pursue a relationship and began making arrangements for her to travel to Ireland.

“He initially transferred the cost to cover a Visa, long-haul flight and transfers to the value of €2,100.

“In total, this victim transferred over €36,000 as part of a romance scam.”

Social media

Gardaí said another victim, a woman aged in her 40s, fell for a scam through social media.

“This victim was added on Facebook by a male who claimed to be a doctor based in a worn-torn country,” they said.

“After speaking for a number of weeks, the victim was asked for a significant sum of money in order to be able to return home.

“In total, €26,300 was stolen from this woman.”

An Garda Síochána is advising people to use Google’s reverse image search function to find out if photos used on a dating app are really of someone else.

They also said not to give money or personal details to strangers on the internet and to report suspicious individuals to Gardaí.

Main image: Online crime takes place as someone wearing black gloves types on a laptop. Image: Hajrudin Hodzic / Alamy Stock Photo 

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