Plenty of fraud: Halifax police warn residents to watch out for romance scams
“Sometimes the money is substantial," says Detective Constable David Comer. "You’re talking tens of thousands of dollars, and we’ve even had ones that were over a hundred thousand."
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Looking for love online?
Halifax police are reminding you to guard not only your heart, but your wallet too.
On Tuesday, Detective Constable David Comer tweeted from the @HRPFraudCop account that a few residents have been victimized by romance scams after falling for people they met via online dating sites.
“They (scammers) do know how to talk a very, very good game and they’re very convincing and they build a relationship up slowly and they try to gain the trust. At the end of the day they’re trying to get as much money as they can from the individual,” Comer said in an interview.
“Sometimes the money is substantial. You’re talking tens of thousands of dollars, and we’ve even had ones that were over a hundred thousand.”
Comer said anyone looking for love online should be alert to the possibility of scams. Fraudsters, he said, have a 24/7 job that involves preying on people and finding their weak spots in order to gain access to their bank accounts.
“Some things you can look out for is if someone’s trying to build a quick relationship with you, quickly professes their love and affection for you,” he said.
“And if you do build a relationship with someone you have never met and they start asking you for money? That’s a big red flag.”
Although victims are often embarrassed about coming forward after being the victim of a romance scam, Comer said getting an investigation started as quickly as possible is important.
“Don’t be embarrassed because we deal with this a fair bit in the financial crime unit. Call us,” he said.
“These romance scams, it’s big money and a lot of this money can either be traced down to criminal organizations or even lead to funding terrorism. That’s why all these complaints should be investigated and reported.”