An Australian consumer watchdog will start getting in touch with people who might be victims of online dating scams.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission launched the Scam Disruption Project nationally today.
The regulator will monitor international transaction data, to discover people who might be engaged in online dating scams, then reach out to them.
ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said: “If you receive a letter from the ACCC warning you may be the target of a relationship scammer, please stop sending any money and contact us as soon as possible.
“The ACCC will help you identify if you have fallen victim or are at risk. Our aim is to disrupt the scam and therefore remove victims from scammers’ insidious clutches. Our guidance is free and completely confidential.”
They are working with the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce on a state and federal level for the project.
The regulator will send out around 400 letters every two weeks, to people they think could be victims of scammers.
The ACCC said 43 people this year have already lost over $100,000 each.
Last year, Australians lost a total of $25m in dating scams.
“If you suspect that you, a friend or a family member is being targeted by a scammer, the ACCC strongly urges you to stop sending any money and to contact us.”
The ACCC have also created a guide about online dating scams, and how to recognise fraudulent profiles on their site.
See it here.