March is Fraud Prevention Month and the Wellington OPP are hoping to raise awareness about a number of popular scams in the region.
One thing to watch out for is the so called Romance Scam.
This fraud has cost several people from our region thousands of dollars. The romance scam usually starts online through social media or dating web sites.
Scam artists will spend, weeks, months and sometimes even years building your trust with an online relationship before asking for money. People have lost tens of thousands of dollars before the ‘relationship’ suddenly ends, usually without ever meeting in person.
Last year, the Romance Scam generated 352 complaints and caused 250 victims to lose $6.2 million in Ontario alone.
As part of the annual Fraud Prevention Month campaign, the OPP and its partners at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre have some tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of the Romance Scam.
– First, ask yourself – ‘Would someone I have never met, really declare their love for me after only a few letters or emails?’ If the answer is no, report it to police.
– Don’t give out any personal information in an email or when you are chatting online. Educate yourself. Check the person’s name, the company name, and the addresses used.
– Never send money, or give personal credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust. A request to send money to a foreign country or to someone you have never personally met should be a red flag.
– Check website addresses carefully. Scammers often set up fake websites with addresses that are very similar to legitimate dating websites