Scammers are known to blackmail their targets using compromising material. Be wary of requests for money. Alternatively they may ask you to buy the goods yourself and send them somewhere. You can use image search services such as Google or TinEye. For example, they may claim to have a severely ill family member who requires immediate medical attention such as an expensive operation, or they may claim financial hardship due to an unfortunate run of bad luck such as a failed business or mugging in the street. They may take months to build what may feel like the romance of a lifetime and may even pretend to book flights to visit you, but never actually come. Their messages are often poorly written, vague and escalate quickly from introduction to love. You might even be asked to accept money into your bank account and then transfer it to someone else. We encourage you to report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page. Have you been scammed? Warning - the above scenarios are very likely to be forms of money laundering which is a criminal offence.
It is rare to recover money sent this way. For example, they may claim to have a severely ill family member who requires immediate medical attention such as an expensive operation, or they may claim financial hardship due to an unfortunate run of bad luck such as a failed business or mugging in the street. Do not agree to transfer money for someone else: Please include details of the scam contact you received, for example, email or screenshot. Alternatively they may ask you to buy the goods yourself and send them somewhere. Online dating and romance scams cheat Australians out of millions every year. Have you been scammed? If you met on a dating site they will try and move you away from the site and communicate via chat or email. Always consider the possibility that the approach may be a scam, particularly if the warning signs listed above appear. Be very careful about how much personal information you share on social network sites. Dating and romance scammers will express strong emotions for you in a relatively short period of time, and will suggest you move the relationship away from the website to a more private channel, such as phone, email or instant messaging. The scammer may also claim they want to travel to visit you, but cannot afford it unless you are able to lend them money to cover flights or other travel expenses. Sometimes the scammer will send you valuable items such as laptop computers and mobile phones, and ask you to resend them somewhere. Spread the word to your friends and family to protect them. Often the scammer will pretend to need the money for some sort of personal emergency. If you think you have been scammed, report it to the website, app, or social media site where the scammer first approached you. You might even be asked to accept money into your bank account and then transfer it to someone else. Consider carefully the advice on www. Scamwatch strongly recommends you do not travel overseas to meet someone you have never met before. Never agree to transfer money for someone else. They often claim to be from Australia or another western country, but travelling or working overseas. Their messages are often poorly written, vague and escalate quickly from introduction to love. Avoid any arrangement with a stranger that asks for up-front payment via money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer, pre-loaded card or electronic currency, like Bitcoin. Scammers can use your information and pictures to create a fake identity or to target you with a scam. They will invent some reason why they need you to send the goods but this is just a way for them to cover up their criminal activity.
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