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Do you have questions about your vision health? A Pew Research Center study revealed that nearly 60 percent of U. But seeking romantic bliss online can have a major downside: Cyberspace is full of scammers eager to take advantage of lonely hearts. The con works something like this: You post a dating profile and up pops a promising match — good-looking, smart, funny and personable.
This potential mate claims to live in another part of the country or to be abroad for business or a military deployment. But he or she seems smitten and eager to get to know you better, and suggests you move your relationship to a private channel like email or a chat app. Over weeks or months you feel yourself growing closer. You make plans to meet in person, but for your new love something always comes up. Then you get an urgent request. He or she will promise to pay it back, but that will never happen.
Phony suitors also seek out targets on social media, and they are increasingly active.
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The entire romance-scam syndicate is estimated to have netted in excess of R4 billion, and those numbers are believable when you consider that the four women the Sunday Times spoke with claim to have been taken for R16 million between them. The women all believed they had found love and made plans to meet the men, who portrayed themselves as successful business people and created sophisticated false identities to reel in their victims…. A member of one of the foreign law enforcement agencies investigating the syndicates said the targets were usually aged between 50 and In December of last year alone, 15 women around the world made contact with embassies based in Cape Town, requesting assistance for men who had told them they were hospitalised in the city and in need of money:.
The big part of the scam is the American travelling to Cape Town.
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A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigning romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud. Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victim’s money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers ; or forcing the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf. Number of cases rose from to in only two years. Romance scammers create personal profiles using stolen photographs of attractive people for the purpose of asking others to contact them.
This is often known as catfishing. Communications are exchanged between the scammer and victim over a period of time until the scammer feels they have connected with the victim enough to ask for money. These requests may be for gas money, bus or airplane tickets to visit the victim, medical or education expenses. There is usually the promise the scammer will one day join the victim in the victim’s home.
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Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, apps or social media by pretending to be prospective companions. They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details. How this scam works Warning signs Protect yourself Have you been scammed? More information. Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact.
They have even been known to telephone their victims as a first introduction.
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A Cape Town woman was allegedly scammed of R, by a person she believed to be the love of her life after meeting on the dating app Tinder, the Hawks said on Wednesday. Two women and a man have since been arrested in connection with the scam, said Lt-Col Philani Nkwalase. A third suspect, Luyanda Bacela, was arrested earlier this month in Cape Town. They have already appeared in court. Nkwalase said the woman “was made to believe that she had met a successful businessman and developed a relationship”.
She sent the money to several bank accounts, as well as through money markets.
Mecury reports that dating and romance scams are fast-growing victims of Internet scam, Mercury, a South African online newspaper, has.
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The women believed the men were possible romantic partners without ever having met them. Related: How to keep your money safe from criminals this festive season. They’re now working with authorities to track down these swindlers, who seem to be part of a Cape Town syndicate.
Fox News Flash top headlines for August 8 are here. Check out what’s clicking on Foxnews. Dating and romance fraud is more rampant than ever. It all starts when a bad actor dupes a victim into a trusting relationship, then exploits that to get money, goods, or sensitive financial information. The bad guys often use online dating sites to pose as U.
The stats back up the growing threat. Dating and romance scams proliferate online.
The latest news on romance scams
Sabric CEO Kalyani Pillay says that although online dating scams have been around for a while, perpetrators are being more sophisticated as more people make use of online dating sites. According to Pillay, perpetrators use various ways of getting money from people who use dating sites, and sometimes operate as a group. Not only do they criminals rob people of their money, they rob them of their self-esteem as well.
The suspect has already appeared in court on Monday, facing charges of fraud and money laundering. His sophisticated scheme managed to dupe a few wishful thinkers, but his luck eventually ran out this month. They provided their details and conversations with the perpetrator to the authorities, who were able to arrest the suspected fraudster on Friday.
SAPS were ultimately beaming with the bust, hailing the co-operative progress made by both South African and American law enforcement. The year-old man accused of defrauding his victims through an online dating scam. After building a certain level of trust the victims were tricked into paying the suspect for apparent business-related challenges in the guise that the money was going to be paid back. South Africans are being urged to keep their personal details to themselves when talking to strangers online.
This case follows a shocking example of extortion which was reported in Durban last week: A syndicate used operatives to gain the trust of potential romantic partners , before threatening to make their nude pictures public. The group managed to secure hefty payments from their victims and continued to harass them at work and online for even more money. Terms and Conditions.