Love is in the air, but the RCMP and Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre are encouraging people to keep their wits about them this Valentine’s Day to avoid falling for “romance scams.”
Romance scams typically involve a scammer using false romantic intentions to gain the trust of a victim to obtain money or access personal accounts. In some cases, the victim may be coerced into committing fraud on the scammer’s behalf.
— RCMP (@rcmpgrcpolice) February 14, 2018
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre says in most cases, this type of scam begins on social media or online dating sites.
Warning signs include if someone you’ve never met professes their love to you, they claim to live close by but work overseas, or avoid in-person meetings.
They may claim to be in an emergency, or try to guilt you, but you should never send money.
If you’re suspicious of someone, the Anti-Fraud Centre suggests doing an image search to see if they’re using someone else’s photos, keep an eye out for poorly written or inconsistent messages, and try to cancel transactions if you’ve sent already sent money.
If you or someone who know has fallen for a similar scam, report the incident to the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre.