The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has warning people using online dating sites to watch out for any love interest that asks for money. Last year, 2,620 Australians reported losing almost $23 million to dating and romance scams to the ACCC. The ACCC’s Scam Disruption Project has sent over 6,000 letters asking individuals who sent money to high risk juridictions to reconsider sending money offshore. 75 per cent of those people who received these letters ceased sending money for at least six weeks. The ACCC has updated best practice guidelines to assist the online dating industry to combat scams.
The revised version of the guidelines aims to address the evolving nature of online scams and provide the latest advice.
Aussies have forked out more than $23 million to fraudsters running online dating rorts this year. Australians lost more than $23 million dollars in online dating scams this year with fraudsters getting more tech savvy in targeting prospective victims. Unlucky-in-love Aussies have forked out more than $23 million to fraudsters running online dating rorts this year, the consumer watchdog says.

The ACCC says internet dating scams accounted for 74 per cent of reports made to it since August, labelling romance cons the "chief culprit" of online frauds.
Other common online scams identified by the ACCC related to jobs and investments (10 per cent), unexpected prizes (10 per cent) and unexpected money (6 per cent). Most victims of online dating scams started an online relationship which led them to send money overseas, ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said. Scammers targeted both men and woman, with fraudsters getting more tech savvy in targeting prospective victims. Scammers, many based in West Africa, often used stories about inheritances, gemstone dealings, gold bullion "or other unexplained wealth". Since August, the ACCC said it has confirmed 50 victims who have each lost about $34,000 each.
The watchdog has also sent 1500 letters to possible scam victims as part of its national Scam Disruption Project.
The crackdown comes after the ACCC in September conducted a snap review of 100 dating websites to check if they carried appropriate warnings about scams. Cyber safety consultant, Leonie Smith, said scammers were more likely to be active on platforms like Facebook and Tinder than on dedicated dating sites.

It was also a good idea to confirm that an online profile did not use a photo copied from elsewhere on the internet.
We know these figures are only the tip of the iceberg as many victims are reluctant to admit to friends, family or authorities that they fell for a scam,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said. This is why disrupting relationship scams continues to be a priority for the ACCC,” Ms Rickard said. Sites that take steps to implement these guidelines create a safer online environment for their customers. From the Bank of Canada.Identify TheftHow to protect your personal information and prevent its use for fraudulent purposes.

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