Canberrans are being urged to be on the lookout for online romance scams.
ACT Commissioner for Fair Trading, David Snowden, said last year Australians lost more than $28 million to online romance scams.
“We know that many people find love and happiness online, but there are scammers out there who may not be who they claim to be,” he said.
“These scammers often exploit people through online dating sites or apps, spending months building up a realistic profile and then asking for money once they’ve established a sense of trust.”
He suggested those looking for love online take note of the following tips: do a Google image search or a TinEye reverse image search to check if their profile is legitimate; be open to the idea that scammers are prevalent online; be careful about the amount of personal information you share and avoid sharing compromising material, which scammers can use to blackmail you; if you’re meeting someone in person, let your family and friends know where you are going; don’t give money to someone if you haven’t met them in person; if you think you’ve given your bank account details to a scammer, immediately contact your bank or financial institution to stop any further losses.