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“That big investment gives victims a false sense that the relationship must be real.” Eventually a pitch for money comes.

Often the scammer will say an emergency situation has arisen and money is needed fast to avoid dire consequences.

In mid December the Department of Justice announced that seven men—six from Nigeria and one from South Africa—pled guilty to conning tens of millions of dollars from Americans via online dating sites.

They are very persistent," she said."These scams have huge benefits for the scammers — real wealth — so they put an awful lot of time into grooming and deceiving people who believe they have found the love of their life."In 2016, more than 4,000 reports were made to Scamwatch regarding dating and romance scams.

But Delia Rickard, deputy chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), is confident the figure was much higher."We've done quite a bit of disruption work using financial data to identify people that we think might be sending money to scammers and in almost all cases, we find they have," she said."We can see there has been a long history of them sending money and mostly, they haven't reported it to us.""We have seen people lose over

They are very persistent," she said."These scams have huge benefits for the scammers — real wealth — so they put an awful lot of time into grooming and deceiving people who believe they have found the love of their life."In 2016, more than 4,000 reports were made to Scamwatch regarding dating and romance scams.

But Delia Rickard, deputy chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), is confident the figure was much higher."We've done quite a bit of disruption work using financial data to identify people that we think might be sending money to scammers and in almost all cases, we find they have," she said."We can see there has been a long history of them sending money and mostly, they haven't reported it to us.""We have seen people lose over $1 million, mortgage their homes, lose everything financially and, of course, become emotionally devastated."Although the person being scammed did not realise, Ms Rickard said there may be an entire group of people operating behind the fictional profile they had been seduced by."There are big numbers of people involved in this.

It is big organised crime [and] most of the scammers are based overseas," she said.

Australians are delivering millions of dollars into the hands of scammers each year in the hope of romance and love, but many incidents are going unreported.

Just in the month of January, Scamwatch data reveals Australians lost an astonishing $1.8 million to dating and romance scams.

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They are very persistent," she said."These scams have huge benefits for the scammers — real wealth — so they put an awful lot of time into grooming and deceiving people who believe they have found the love of their life."In 2016, more than 4,000 reports were made to Scamwatch regarding dating and romance scams.But Delia Rickard, deputy chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), is confident the figure was much higher."We've done quite a bit of disruption work using financial data to identify people that we think might be sending money to scammers and in almost all cases, we find they have," she said."We can see there has been a long history of them sending money and mostly, they haven't reported it to us.""We have seen people lose over $1 million, mortgage their homes, lose everything financially and, of course, become emotionally devastated."Although the person being scammed did not realise, Ms Rickard said there may be an entire group of people operating behind the fictional profile they had been seduced by."There are big numbers of people involved in this.It is big organised crime [and] most of the scammers are based overseas," she said.Australians are delivering millions of dollars into the hands of scammers each year in the hope of romance and love, but many incidents are going unreported.Just in the month of January, Scamwatch data reveals Australians lost an astonishing $1.8 million to dating and romance scams.

million, mortgage their homes, lose everything financially and, of course, become emotionally devastated."Although the person being scammed did not realise, Ms Rickard said there may be an entire group of people operating behind the fictional profile they had been seduced by."There are big numbers of people involved in this.

It is big organised crime [and] most of the scammers are based overseas," she said.

Australians are delivering millions of dollars into the hands of scammers each year in the hope of romance and love, but many incidents are going unreported.

Just in the month of January, Scamwatch data reveals Australians lost an astonishing

They are very persistent," she said."These scams have huge benefits for the scammers — real wealth — so they put an awful lot of time into grooming and deceiving people who believe they have found the love of their life."In 2016, more than 4,000 reports were made to Scamwatch regarding dating and romance scams.

But Delia Rickard, deputy chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), is confident the figure was much higher."We've done quite a bit of disruption work using financial data to identify people that we think might be sending money to scammers and in almost all cases, we find they have," she said."We can see there has been a long history of them sending money and mostly, they haven't reported it to us.""We have seen people lose over $1 million, mortgage their homes, lose everything financially and, of course, become emotionally devastated."Although the person being scammed did not realise, Ms Rickard said there may be an entire group of people operating behind the fictional profile they had been seduced by."There are big numbers of people involved in this.

It is big organised crime [and] most of the scammers are based overseas," she said.

Australians are delivering millions of dollars into the hands of scammers each year in the hope of romance and love, but many incidents are going unreported.

Just in the month of January, Scamwatch data reveals Australians lost an astonishing $1.8 million to dating and romance scams.

||

They are very persistent," she said."These scams have huge benefits for the scammers — real wealth — so they put an awful lot of time into grooming and deceiving people who believe they have found the love of their life."In 2016, more than 4,000 reports were made to Scamwatch regarding dating and romance scams.But Delia Rickard, deputy chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), is confident the figure was much higher."We've done quite a bit of disruption work using financial data to identify people that we think might be sending money to scammers and in almost all cases, we find they have," she said."We can see there has been a long history of them sending money and mostly, they haven't reported it to us.""We have seen people lose over $1 million, mortgage their homes, lose everything financially and, of course, become emotionally devastated."Although the person being scammed did not realise, Ms Rickard said there may be an entire group of people operating behind the fictional profile they had been seduced by."There are big numbers of people involved in this.It is big organised crime [and] most of the scammers are based overseas," she said.Australians are delivering millions of dollars into the hands of scammers each year in the hope of romance and love, but many incidents are going unreported.Just in the month of January, Scamwatch data reveals Australians lost an astonishing $1.8 million to dating and romance scams.

.8 million to dating and romance scams.

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