Australians lost $ million to scammers in | Scamwatch
The techniques used by fraudsters in online romance scams are similar to Photo: Romance and dating scams are on the rise in Australia. With the proliferation of online dating websites, forums and social media scams : Report of the ACCC on scams activity - Australian Competition and. Investment scams cost Australians more money than dating scams last the ACCC and the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network.
Victims often describe how the emotional and psychological pain associated with being victimised is made all the worse by statements about their naivety. So it's likely that these crimes are under-reported. The victims are often angry towards government, police and the financial sector for not stopping them. But, bringing these kind of offenders to justice is no easy task for our police.
Online Dating Scams Are Costing Lovesick Aussies More Than $25 Million A Year
Given the anonymity of the internet, and its associated encryption technologies, the identification of offenders is extremely difficult, and often impossible.
Even if identified, the scammers are usually located overseas in countries with endemic corruption. I'm Not In Love With Online Dating After Divorce A victim's losses are seldom recovered, making prevention and disruption government's best response to this phenomenon.
The ACCC and some state government agencies use financial intelligence to identify potential victims and advises them via letter that they may be the target of a scam.
Online Dating Scams Are Costing Lovesick Aussies More Than $25 Million A Year | HuffPost Australia
Nevertheless, it remains the victims' responsibility to disengage from the romance scam. Banks and money remitters use fraud detection tools to proactively detect unusual transactions. They will routinely call customers to verify transactions, determine the purpose of transactions that they suspect are fraudulent, educate customers, or halt transfers. Again, it's the victim's responsibility to disengage from the romance scam.
They may also ask you to send pictures or videos of yourself, possibly of an intimate nature. Often the scammer will pretend to need the money for some sort of personal emergency. For example, they may claim to have a severely ill family member who requires immediate medical attention such as an expensive operation, or they may claim financial hardship due to an unfortunate run of bad luck such as a failed business or mugging in the street.
The scammer may also claim they want to travel to visit you, but cannot afford it unless you are able to lend them money to cover flights or other travel expenses. Sometimes the scammer will send you valuable items such as laptop computers and mobile phones, and ask you to resend them somewhere.
They will invent some reason why they need you to send the goods but this is just a way for them to cover up their criminal activity. Alternatively they may ask you to buy the goods yourself and send them somewhere. You might even be asked to accept money into your bank account and then transfer it to someone else.
Warning - the above scenarios are very likely to be forms of money laundering which is a criminal offence. Never agree to transfer money for someone else. They will tell you they need your money to cover administrative fees or taxes.
Australians lost $340 million to scammers in 2017
Scammers may attempt to lure their victims overseas, putting you in dangerous situations that can have tragic consequences. Regardless of how you are scammed, you could end up losing a lot of money. I could just never ever see him, 'cause I used to keep questioning the trust thing.
That's when he used to throw out, "Don't you trust me? We'll have a life together". The impact of psychological abuse in romance fraud These examples offer a glimpse into the dynamics of romance fraud.
Despite the lack of a physical relationship, romance fraud offenders could manipulate victims by exploiting their hopes for a relationship and using psychological manipulation.
The fact that these tactics were persuasive enough to get victims to send large amounts of money to offenders illustrates how effective even non-physical forms of abuse can be. Research on the non-physical abuse in the context of domestic violence has documented severe consequences for victims, including ongoing symptoms of trauma.
Romance fraud victims reported similar outcomes including adverse effects on their physical health, depression, breakdown of their supportive relationships, unemployment, homelessness and even contemplation of suicide.
I have come close to ending my life, honestly, I still feel that way. I had one final conversation with her a romance fraud perpetrator and said "I am going to commit suicide", which is how I was feeling at the time. Romance scammers can have a significant emotional impact on their victims.
Margaret Burin Moving forward Psychological abuse is an important part of the complex dynamics of interpersonal offending. Victims of romance fraud and domestic violence are often blamed for the crimes committed against them. Research on psychological abuse can help us to better understand how victims become entrapped in abusive relationships over time and document the harms from non-physical forms of abuse.
This exploratory study shows how insights from research on non-physical abuse can inform romance fraud and domestic violence research in the future. Although it has been relatively neglected by researchers compared to physical violence, we need to understand psychological manipulation in order to effectively prevent, intervene and respond to both romance fraud and domestic violence.
Do you think you may have been scammed? Cassandra Cross is a senior lecturer in criminology and Molly Dragiewicz is an associate professor at Queensland University of Technology. This article originally appeared on The Conversation.