Fraudsters contact unsuspecting victims with love and attention or seeking long-term relationship. However, it is an opportunity to swindle you of your hard-earned money. They do it through email, social media, dating websites and apps. It appears a little strange that people fall for such but these fraudsters take a lot of time to build the relationships online and make them seem very real.
Fraudsters prey on the emotions of their victims and may sweet-talk you into sending them cash or gifts. They gain your trust and always have a fake backstory to convince you to send them money. Once they have gained your trust, they will use various stories to get money. These scammers start by requesting for small amount of money and generate to large amount. They would blackmail their victims if their financial demands are not met. Most often, they do not ask for money but present a problem that can be solved by money, because they know their victim would offer financial assistance.
Scammers and fraudsters get information from your social media and use it to convince you to part away with huge sums of money. Therefore, let us keep our private life private; do not share private photos and videos of family members, do not share your banking details with anyone and verify information by speaking to a trusted friend/ relative before parting away with money or any form of gift.
Identifying Romance Scams:
- People who tug on your emotions – they claim to have a family emergency and need financial support.
- People who want to cash in on your trust – They suggest depositing a large amount of money in your account in preparation for a future together.
- People who pretend to love you – they trick you into believing they have fallen in love at first sight to capture your heart (and your savings).
- People who pretend to be abroad and unavailable – They pretend to be always traveling and are rarely available adding to the romantic allure and making it difficult to find out who they really are.
- Relationship moving so fast – They confess love within a short time of making contact.
If you have been a victim or knows anyone who has been a victim, report any incident to the following law enforcement agency:
The Economic and Organised Crime Office
WhatsApp Number: 0579079066
The Cyber Security Centre
Short Code: 292