A SOUTH Australian woman lost almost $500,000 to scammers in an elaborate online dating scheme and police warn these incidents are happening on a daily basis.
The victim, a 48-year-old southern suburbs woman, became the victim of dating scammers in late 2011.
“She met a man online and they began communicating through Skype. Over the next twelve months, she sent him approximately $80,000,” Detective Inspector Greg Hutchins, Officer in Charge of SAPOL’s Financial Investigations Section said.
“In late 2012, the victim was contacted by a person claiming to be a lawyer. The lawyer advised her that she had been a victim of a dating scam and that he could assist her in the recovery her money.
Over a number of weeks the victim provided in excess of $400,000 to the “lawyer” in an attempt to recover her initial money. In this instance, police believe the offenders are based overseas, possibly in Nigeria.”
When a victim is contacted a second time, typically by scammers posing as government officials, this is better known as a “recovery scam”. Further details about recovery scams can be found on our previous article.