Valentine’s Day Scam: Gardaí warn singletons to beware of romance fraud
Look for the red flags.
That’s the message from Gardaí this Valentine’s Day as they urge singletons to be vigilant when meeting and conversing with strangers they meet online.
In 2022, 70 percent of all victims of romance fraud were female. Last year alone, €1,958,089 was stolen, up 23 percent on the previous year.
An eye-watering €5,923,869 has been stolen in romance fraud since 2019.
In one of the more recent cases, a female pensioner contacted Gardaí to report that she had lost €100,000 after she met a man on a dating app who claimed to be working abroad and needed the money.
In another case, a male in his 40s reported that he befriended a female online. He later forwarded €20,000 to the female after he was convinced to deal in cryptocurrency.
How does it happen?
- To cover the cost of travelling to see the victim
- For emergency medical expenses, customs duties or other bills
- A business opportunity that would see the victim make a quick profit
Think twice before using your webcam and never pay for medical bills, purchase flights, or Visas, pay customs fees or make any payment for them to come to visit you.
If you believe that you are a victim of a romance scam, or think your identity or personal information has been compromised, contact any Garda Station and report the crime – they treat all reports in confidence.