A new report has revealed that dating and romance scams have cost Australian victims more than $23.3 million in 2012.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) latest annual report received more than 83,000 contacts about scams with losses reported of over $93 million in 2012.
Scams asking victims for advanced fees/up-front payments was the number one scam followed by romance scams and those scams derived from investment seminars and real estate.
And it seems women over 50 are the most susceptible to romance scams, according to Detective Superintendent Brian Hay from the Queensland Police.
Detective Superintendent Brian Hay, who was not commenting directly on the ACCC report, said women over 50 who use online dating sites or chat rooms were often targeted by fraudsters who spent months building a relationship with their victims before suddenly asking for big amounts of money for an emergency.
Phishing and identity theft continues to be another big problem for Australians with nearly 500 people contacting the ACCC reporting financial loss.