Don't give your heart away online, at least not before you've met that special somebody in person. Some Aussies have been stung for more than $100,000 in online dating and romance scams by "lover" claiming to be desperate for money because of an accident or robbery overseas.
A common scenario is to pretend to be a soldier or aid worker on an overseas mission in need of extra cash to pay costs and get a "leave pass" to visit.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is working to create new guidelines to combat scams. They received more than 1600 complaints about online dating scam relating to more than $17 million in losses between January and October this year.
And of those, more than 200 people have lost $10,000 or more. ACCC deputy chairman Dr. Michael Schaper said more people lost money in dating scams than any other type of scheme.
If you have been talking or communicating with them (Scammers) for a period of time, it can be hard to say no. Please beware of such scams and never give money or share private information. Other red flags can include bad punctuation and spelling.
Dating website operators have until December 16, 2011 to comment on draft guidelines before they are launched next year.