“The brain is the most outstanding organ. It works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year from the day you’re born until the day you fall in love.”
While many of us believe we’re smart enough to spot a scammer a mile away, the statistics suggest otherwise. In 2016 alone, there were 4100 Australians that reported lost funds due to romance scams to the tune of a whopping $25 million. Let’s face it, the true number would be much higher than this as most wouldn’t want to admit being duped.
With the rampant growth of dating websites allowing you to meet just about anyone and anything your heart desires, it’s more important than ever that we remain cautious and watch for the warning signs. Facebook is also a very popular choice for the scammers in initiating relationships with those looking for love.
Let’s take a look at exactly how these scams operate.
First, they’ll set up a believable profile, which may be entirely made up or they may actually steal the identity of someone across the globe. If you’re unsure if what they have in their profile is true, do your own research and due diligence and ask them questions.
The second step is for them to identify the targets. The most common target are those aged 45 and above. If you display your marital status on your social media profiles, tread with caution when somebody you’ve just started speaking to starts expressing strong feelings for you quickly.
The third step is for the scammer to gain your trust, and they can be incredibly patient given the pay-out is so large if they get you on the hook. They could spend months gaining your trust and building the relationship with you, before getting to the final step, the request for your money.
This final step is when the scammer gives you the story about the sick relative, or needing money for a plane ticket to come and see you (they’re not coming). It’s important that you’re not afraid to walk away and cut communication with someone if it just doesn’t feel right.
If you’ve ever fallen victim to a financial scam, you can report it in Australia by clicking here.
In these times of increasing connectivity, it’s important that you protect yourself and your finances online.
To Your Financial Success!
Jarrad Brown is an Australian-trained and qualified Independent Fee-Based Financial Adviser with Australian Expatriate Group of Global Financial Consultants Pte Ltd providing specialist financial advice and portfolio management services to international and local professionals in Singapore.
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Jarrad Brown is an Authorised Representative of Global Financial Consultants Pte Ltd – No: 200305462G | MAS License No: FA100035-3
*Please note that Jarrad Brown is not a tax agent or accountant and none of the content outlined here should be taken as personal advice. You should consult your tax agent and financial adviser to review your current personal finances and financial goals to consider whether this strategy is appropriate for you. We expressly disclaim all and any liability to any person or organisation, in respect of anything, and of the consequences of anything done or omitted to be done by any such person in reliance, whether whole or in part, upon the whole or any part of the contents of this.