Lambton County woman loses $60K in 'romance scam'

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Lambton County woman loses $60K in 'romance scam'

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Unread post by The Inquisitor » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:49 pm

A so-called “romance scam” has a Lambton County woman out roughly $60,000 after a fake relationship that lasted more than eight months, the OPP reported Monday.

The relationship started last October between a 35-year-old Lambton County woman and a man claiming to be a law enforcement official from Canada living alternately between the U.S. and overseas, the OPP said. The man also claimed he needed money, asking the woman to pay for hospital bills, plane tickets and travel costs.

Al payments were made using pre-paid gift cards and financial money transfers to a variety of bank accounts, OPP said. An investigation revealed those bank accounts were all in Nigeria.

The OPP and RCMP are investigating with help from Canada’s anti-fraud agency. All are warning other people to be skeptical of similar romance scams.

“While the amounts can start off slowly (in romance scams), they tend to build and they tend to be ongoing,” Jessica Gunson, speaking on behalf of the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, said. “We know that the scammers are very good at developing a relationship.”

A 2018 report by the anti-fraud agency said romance scams cost Canadians roughly $22.5 million in reported losses last year alone, more than any other online scam.

Though less common than other scams, Gunson said, romance scams are usually more devastating.

“We know people who have mortgaged their homes and maxed out their credit cards, and borrowed from every friend, family and neighbour they know,” Gunson said. “Sometimes it’s hard for us to convince them that it’s a scam, that there isn’t going to be a happy ending.”

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre helps identify nation-wide scams by collaborating with policing groups like the RCMP and OPP.

Source - https://lfpress.com/news/local-news/lam ... 1554230990



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