Looking for love?
The Surrey RCMP is warning people to be careful where they look, as scams related to online romance have cost residents millions of dollars.
Between January and August 2021, the Surrey RCMP received 29 reports, with a total of $1,362,269 lost in connection with online dating scams.
And across the Lower Mainland, 213 victims lost a total of $22,463,510.
“Beware of people who fall in love quickly,” the Surrey RCMP said in a statement.
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According to the Surrey RCMP, an online dating scam involves someone who uses the prospect of love or romance to gain someone’s trust and affection for the sole purpose of taking their money.
Many of these scams start on social media or online dating sites.
Most of the reports that the Surrey RCMP received involved victims being befriended online, and over time being convinced to invest funds into fraudulent schemes.
This also included Bitcoin being sent to the scammers. Victims typically cut off communication with the fraudsters once they realized they were being scammed.
The RCMP suggests using a reverse image search on Google to ensure the potential partner’s profile is accurate, and to not send money to a new online partner.