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Latest News

Romance Baiting on the Rise: What You Need to Know

Australia has seen a rise in romance scams as more people transition online for connections during the pandemic. ScamWatch has reported that Australians lost a record breaking $37 million  last year to romance scams. 

 With Valentines Day yesterday, it's important to remind those you love about scams that are circulating out in the community.  

 What is romance baiting?

 Romance baiting is when someone meets a scammer on a dating app, they move the conversation to an encrypted chat where they develop the relationship, once the relationship has been developed and the scammer has built up trust with the victim, the scammer begins to ask about the victim's finances and encourage them to participate in an investment opportunity. 

 According to the ACCC, scammers often encourage victims to initially transfer a small amount of money to prove how easy the investment is. Victims will be told to top up their accounts to increase their profits but when they run out of money to transfer, the scammer will cease all communication.

 What's the result? Significant financial loss and emotional distress. 

 The ACCC have provided some tips on how you can avoid falling victim to a romance scam:

  •  Don't take financial advice from someone you meet on an app.
  • Never give your financial details to someone you meet online.
  • If you meet someone online, keep the chat in the app. This way, you have more protections then if you move the conversation to an encrypted chat.
  • Search for the person and phrases they have used to communicate with you online to see if it is scam.
  • If you feel pressured, end the chat immediately. 
  • If you feel that you have fallen victim, report it to your bank and ScamWatch immediately. 

 You can find out more on romance scams and how to protect yourself and the ones you love on the ACCC website

 Published: 15 February 2021

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