A Canadian victim of an online dating scam was able to recover some of her lost money by quickly reporting the fraud to police.
The woman, from North Vancouver, sent $27,000 to a man she met on Match.com, having entered into what she thought was a genuine long-distance relationship.
After months of chatting, her online love interest, who said he lived outside of Canada, asked for $27,000 for legal fees for a construction contract he was working on in Saudi Arabia.
And although the woman sent the Match.com man this sum of money, she was able to recover more than $11,000 by reporting the case to the police after the man’s profile suddenly disappeared from the site after the transaction.
North Vancouver RCMP constable Brett Cunningham said: “Because the incident was immediately reported to police and the money was not transferred outside of Canada, some of the money transactions were reversed.
“Had there been a delay in reporting the incident, the outcome would have been less favourable. Unfortunately, recovering money from internet scams doesn’t happen often.”
The story serves as another reminder of the importance of education around online dating scams, offering hope to victims of dating fraud that money can be recovered, and scammers caught, if police are informed quickly.
In Australia, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), launched a project that warned people about sending large amounts of money overseas.
The organisation were able to monitor international financial transactions — to see which Australians were sending large amounts of money to West African nations, then sending out letters to these potential victims, warning them they could be involved in a dating scam.
Read more about the project here.