'Romance' scam hurts seniors: Orillia OPP

News Mar 21, 2016 by Frank Matys Orillia Today

Romance scams are taking a devastating toll on victims, many of them seniors, yet the majority of these crimes continue to go unreported, police say.

“One of the most devastating fraud schemes in Canada is perpetrated through the romance scam,” said OPP assistant deputy commissioner Fred Bertucca. “It is an emotional roller coaster for victims who deal with emotional and financial losses associated with this deception.”

Criminals typically seek potential victims online, usually through singles and dating-related websites, social media platforms or e-mail blasts.

In some cases, victims are bilked out of tens of thousands of dollars before the ‘relationship’ ends, with seniors among the most vulnerable, police say.

Ninety-five percent of these crimes go unreported.

“Despite the cruelties involved and the emotional trauma sustained, it’s still important for victims of the romance scam to report the crime,” said Det. Insp. Mike Bickerton, director of the OPP’s anti-rackets branch. “All users of computers and the online world should educate themselves and use best practices to ensure their personal and financial security.”

In 2015, romance scams generated 298 complaints and claimed 216 victims in Ontario, with losses totaling $7.9 million.

As part of the annual Fraud Prevention Month campaign, the OPP and its partners at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre are raising awareness of the scam and offering tips to help avoid further victimization.

Police urge the public never to give out personal information in an email or while chatting online.

Additionally, never send money or give personal credit card details to anyone you do not know or trust.

“A request to send money to a foreign country to someone you have never personally met should be a red flag,” the OPP added in a statement.

Police also encourage individuals to ask themselves, ‘Would someone I have never met really declare their love for me after only a few letters or emails?”

Complaints regarding potential scams can be made to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, through CrimeStoppers, at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.tipsubmit.com/start.htm.

'Romance' scam hurts seniors: Orillia OPP

News Mar 21, 2016 by Frank Matys Orillia Today

Romance scams are taking a devastating toll on victims, many of them seniors, yet the majority of these crimes continue to go unreported, police say.

“One of the most devastating fraud schemes in Canada is perpetrated through the romance scam,” said OPP assistant deputy commissioner Fred Bertucca. “It is an emotional roller coaster for victims who deal with emotional and financial losses associated with this deception.”

Criminals typically seek potential victims online, usually through singles and dating-related websites, social media platforms or e-mail blasts.

In some cases, victims are bilked out of tens of thousands of dollars before the ‘relationship’ ends, with seniors among the most vulnerable, police say.

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Ninety-five percent of these crimes go unreported.

“Despite the cruelties involved and the emotional trauma sustained, it’s still important for victims of the romance scam to report the crime,” said Det. Insp. Mike Bickerton, director of the OPP’s anti-rackets branch. “All users of computers and the online world should educate themselves and use best practices to ensure their personal and financial security.”

In 2015, romance scams generated 298 complaints and claimed 216 victims in Ontario, with losses totaling $7.9 million.

As part of the annual Fraud Prevention Month campaign, the OPP and its partners at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre are raising awareness of the scam and offering tips to help avoid further victimization.

Police urge the public never to give out personal information in an email or while chatting online.

Additionally, never send money or give personal credit card details to anyone you do not know or trust.

“A request to send money to a foreign country to someone you have never personally met should be a red flag,” the OPP added in a statement.

Police also encourage individuals to ask themselves, ‘Would someone I have never met really declare their love for me after only a few letters or emails?”

Complaints regarding potential scams can be made to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, through CrimeStoppers, at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.tipsubmit.com/start.htm.

'Romance' scam hurts seniors: Orillia OPP

News Mar 21, 2016 by Frank Matys Orillia Today

Romance scams are taking a devastating toll on victims, many of them seniors, yet the majority of these crimes continue to go unreported, police say.

“One of the most devastating fraud schemes in Canada is perpetrated through the romance scam,” said OPP assistant deputy commissioner Fred Bertucca. “It is an emotional roller coaster for victims who deal with emotional and financial losses associated with this deception.”

Criminals typically seek potential victims online, usually through singles and dating-related websites, social media platforms or e-mail blasts.

In some cases, victims are bilked out of tens of thousands of dollars before the ‘relationship’ ends, with seniors among the most vulnerable, police say.

Related Content

Ninety-five percent of these crimes go unreported.

“Despite the cruelties involved and the emotional trauma sustained, it’s still important for victims of the romance scam to report the crime,” said Det. Insp. Mike Bickerton, director of the OPP’s anti-rackets branch. “All users of computers and the online world should educate themselves and use best practices to ensure their personal and financial security.”

In 2015, romance scams generated 298 complaints and claimed 216 victims in Ontario, with losses totaling $7.9 million.

As part of the annual Fraud Prevention Month campaign, the OPP and its partners at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre are raising awareness of the scam and offering tips to help avoid further victimization.

Police urge the public never to give out personal information in an email or while chatting online.

Additionally, never send money or give personal credit card details to anyone you do not know or trust.

“A request to send money to a foreign country to someone you have never personally met should be a red flag,” the OPP added in a statement.

Police also encourage individuals to ask themselves, ‘Would someone I have never met really declare their love for me after only a few letters or emails?”

Complaints regarding potential scams can be made to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, through CrimeStoppers, at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.tipsubmit.com/start.htm.