This Valentine's Day, be wary of potential romance scams.
If you are searching for love online, NT RCMP is asking that you stay vigilant. In 2019, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre received 972 complaints related to romance scams, which included 682 victims who lost over $19 million to scammers pretending to be in love.
Scammers will use fake profiles on social media, and through popular dating apps, to gain the trust of their victims over a period of time before stealing from them.
NT RCMP recommends that you recognize the signs in a new online relationship:
- The person moves the relationship quickly from initial contact to ''love''.
- They claim to live nearby but work out of the country.
- They claim to have a good job but ask for financial help.
If you believe you are facing a potential romance scam:
- Never send money – requesting money is a telltale sign of a scam.
- Never agree to accept and transfer money or goods – this is helping someone to commit fraud and it is illegal.
- Never send intimate photos – these open you to blackmail attempts
- Never share personal or financial information – it can provide access to your personal computer and accounts.
If you are victim of a scam:
- Stop all contact with the alleged scammer.
- Contact your financial institution to halt any outstanding payments.
- Report the situation to your local detachment with as much information as possible.
- File a complaint with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre through their confidential online reporting system or by calling 1-888-495-8501.