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Romance scam warning on Valentine’s Day after Irish woman loses €450,000 #nigeria | #nigeriascams | #lovescams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | #match.com | #dating


Gardaí have issued a Valentine’s Day warning about romance scams after one woman lost €450,000 to a person she met online.

More than €7 million has been stolen from the victims of romance fraud in the past five years, according to the latest Garda figures.

This Valentine’s Day, officers have advised people to beware of romance scams and those taking advantage of the increasing popularity of dating apps.

Gardaí are now very concerned about the frequency of the scams, saying the loss of €450,000 by one woman was the highest by a female and that a €380,000 loss was the biggest scam targeting a man in the Republic.

Typically, fraudsters use someone else’s photos to set up a fake ID to scour through profiles. They identify potential victims to groom and get their money.

Gardaí say victims believe they have met their perfect match online, but are really being terribly deceived.

Det Supt Michael Cryan of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau urged victims not to be embarrassed and to come forward and report the crimes.

“It becomes a huge invasion of privacy and a breach of trust which can impact your whole view of people and the possibility of romance, but it’s important to remember that this is fraud and it is a crime,” he said, adding the stolen money was often moved out of the country and used to fund terrorism, organised crime, human trafficking and corruption.

Det Supt Cryan urged people to continue using the messaging function of dating apps, rather than moving to off-platform messaging methods too quickly.

He said fraudsters “groomed” their victims online and “appear to say all the right things” because they were using a pre-prepared script.

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