A Meaford resident has fallen victim to a “romance scam,” police say.
Over the course of a year, the person forwarded approximately $150,000 in cash to a male she had met on a computer dating site, Grey-Bruce OPP aid in a news release.
Police received a call on Wednesday from the resident reporting that they were the victim of the scam. The victim believed that the male resided in the U.S. But was currently in Nigeria where he was stationed with the U.S. Military.
The investigation is ongoing.
Police warn residents to be wary of romance scams and offer a number of tips to help prevent one from falling victim to them, including:
- Be suspicious when someone you haven’t met in person professes their love to you.
- Be wary when someone you meet on social media wants to quickly move to a private mode of communication like text or e-mail.
- Be suspicious if they always have an excuse not to meet you, if trying to set up an in-person meeting.
- If a meeting is set up tell family and friends when and where, and meet in a local, public place.
- Do not share personal or financial information with anyone you have met online or in person.
- Never send intimate photos or video of yourself. The scammer may use them to blackmail you into sending money.
- Be cautious when conversing with an individual that claims to live close to you but is working overseas.
- Never send money for any reason.
- Should you be asked to accept money or goods and then transfer or send money elsewhere, do not do this. It is usually a form of money laundering, which is a criminal offence.
Anyone who does send money or shares financial information should report it to the financial institution used. All information pertaining to the situation should be gathered, including the scammer’s profile name, how contact was made, social media screenshots, e-mails, etc., and police should be contacted.
A report should be filed with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501 or visiting www.antifraudcentre.ca
The dating website or social media site where the scammer was met should be notified.