True love is hard to find and online it can be even more challenging.
Police in Quesnel are cautioning the public to be aware of romance scams when entering relationships online.
“Every year the RCMP receives several reports of various online and telephone scams that see people cheated out of their hard-earned money,” reads a news release by Quesnel RCMP Sgt. Clay Kronebusch.
“Romance scams are common among those scams.”
According to RCMP, romance scams involve individuals who use false romantic intentions toward a victim to gain their trust and affection to get the victim to send them money.
Often the perpetrator will meet the victim online through social media or online dating sites and build a relationship over weeks, months, or even years. Typically, the perpetrator claims to be from another country or province and eventually starts asking for money for various things such as funds to come visit, pay off debts, medical bills, or family assistance.
“Once the victim sends money, they will continue to ask for more, making various excuses for why they need the money,” notes the release.
“They’ll often promise to meet the victim and then fail to show up, making excuses that they ran into problems and need more money.”
Some red flags to look out for include when someone wants to quickly move to a private or different mode of communication, always has an excuse to not meet in person, claims to live close by but is working overseas, acts distressed or angry to guilt you into sending money, and discourages you from discussing them or your relationship with your friends or family.
They may even profess their love to you, despite you having never met them in person.
“We urge people to be cautious when receiving requests for money from people you’ve never met,” Kronebusch said. “If you’re not sure, don’t send them money.”
Potential scams can be reported to the Canadian Ant-Fraud Centre. For more information and tips on how to protect yourself, visit https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm
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