ACCC says online dating scams costs Australians $28 million a year

THE consumer watchdog wants Facebook and other networking sites to help pauze up fake romances spil scammers increasingly use social media to target their victims.

The ACCC says online dating sites and social networking sites need to do more to protect victims of online dating scams. Source:Getty Pictures

THE consumer watchdog wants Facebook and other networking sites to help pauze up fake romances spil scammers increasingly use social media to target their victims.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission wants the social media sites to help identify romance scammers, who cost Australians $27.9 million last year.

ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said voeling from romance scammers now often happened through social media, mainly Facebook. &#x201C,There’s still a loterijlot from dating sites, but we’re eyeing almost spil many complaints coming from people who very first met the scammer on Facebook, which is worrying,&#x201D, Ms Rickard told AAP.

About 30 vanaf cent of victims met the scammer through social networking sites, ACCC gegevens for 2014 shows.

Ms Rickard said the scammers often stalked their victims on social media, getting a sense of someone’s likes, dislikes and social values, so it felt spil tho’ there wasgoed an instant connection when they did make voeling online.

The ACCC has bot running a scam disruption project for the past year – attempting to zekering potential victims from sending money to scammers, using financial intelligence to identify Australians sending funds to suspect countries and advising them that they may have bot targeted by a scam.

It is also updating best practice guidelines for the dating and romance industry, which voorkant providing warnings to consumers, the complaint treating process, and working behind the scenes to identify scammers and keep them off the sites.

Ms Rickard said the ACCC now dreamed to extend the work it had done with the dating industry to social media platforms.

&#x201C,We’re embarking work looking at what wij expect social media platforms to be doing to identify scammers and keep them off, and provide assistance to consumers,&#x201D, she said.

&#x201C,There’s a loterijlot of work we’re attempting to do with intermediaries to zekering money reaching scammers and to zekering scammers reaching victims te the very first place.&#x201D,

THE KEY FIGURES

How much do romance scams cost Australians?

– Around $27.9 million

– Up by more than Ten vanaf cent ter 2014

– No. 1 scam te terms of financial losses

– 75,000 lost every day

How much individuals lost

– More than $27,000 on media

– A third of victims lost more than $Ten,000

– 81 victims lost more than $100,000

– Seven lost more than $500,000

The peak of the iceberg

– Makes up only Three vanaf cent of all scam reports

– Money lost by 1032 people

– Another 1465 contacted by scammer, but didn’t lose money

– Many victims reluctant to admit they fell for a scam

How to romance scammers meet their victims?

– Almost 30 vanaf cent through social media channels

– Almost same spil contacts on dating websites

– Also use email and regular mail

– Identically target dudes and women

– 45-64 the most affected age group

What the ACCC wants social networking sites to do

– Provide warnings about sending money to people met online

– Behind-the-scenes work to identify scammers

– Help keep scammers off

Tips to protect yourself

– Be careful about how much private informatie you share

– Search admirer on Google Photos – they often use fake photos

– Be wary if moved off dating webstek – scammers choose private emails/phone to avoid detection – Observe for spelling and grammar mistakes, inconsistencies ter stories, numerous excuses for why they need your money

– Never send money to someone met online, especially via money order, wire transfer or international funds transfer

– Never provide financial details

– Never share photos/movies of a individual nature – scammers use them to blackmail you

– Get advice from friend/relative before sending money

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