The ACCC Is Disrupting Online Dating Scammers By Sending Aussies Letters With Advice

Australians are giving folks. That apparently makes us especially susceptible to online dating scams. The ACCC, working in concert with the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce, is getting in touch with Australians it thinks are sending money overseas to scammers, picking them out by tracking international transactions.

Image via Shutterstock

In an effort to disrupt money flowing from Australians to overseas scammers, the ACCC analyses international transaction data to detect patterns consistent with relationship scam activity and has identified and alerted a number of potential victims.

The latest ACCC ScamWatch action is its Scam Disruption project, sharing a huge range of advice and information with Australian consumers. The idea is to make Aussies more wary about interacting online with people they have never met; online dating scams cost regular citizens a full $25 million last year, but even that massive figure only represents 3 per cent of online fraud reports.

When the ACCC detects a transaction it believes is fraudulent or represents a potential scam taking place, it will work with the ACFT to determine who that transaction was made by, and send them one of the approximately 400 letter per fortnight it will be mailing out according to the ABC. The letter will contain advice on determining online scams, and a best-practice guide for Aussies to keep their assets and identities safe against potential thieves. [ACCC]


Comments

    I'd probably want to say though, I've seen Masters candidates with very, very poor English.

      We do have an alarming rate of illiteracy in this country, more so with older Australians and depending courses done e.g. engineering or other sciences English may not be very heavily used.
      And also it is quite common for people not to have good written English due to it being a second or possibly third language.

    anyone want to guess on how the accompanying photo is supposed to be relevant?

      Shutterstock 'rip off': http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-193992242/stock-photo-mechanic-upset-customer-with-rip-off-mechanic-in-background.html?src=Oisap19xU-QmG_aHs7Mrsg-1-58

      That was my first thought. I haven't even read the article yet, but that got me straight away.

    It astounds me just how mindlessly stupid some people are. A female friend of mine gave away $25,000 to a "Black American" guy she fell for on line, who was having visa troubles and needed her help, but said he would pay her back once he came to Australia. He never arrived did he. And this is a woman with a university degree. I guess loneliness outstrips intelligence some times.

    What are these online dating scams?

    As in people get in contact with people, to then make them fall for them to get them to send money?

    I just don't understand why in any way any one would ever start sending money to a stranger online.

      ^ Lonliness is a strong motivation for some.

      Usually after setting up a dialogue, getting them on the hook 'in love'. Just watch 'Catfish' sometime. (The movie or the tv series it spawned.)

      People are just plain dumb some times. Just because they have degrees and such doesn't make them "street smart" or "Internet smart".

      Source: I've fixed a number of laptops/PCs which were infected with malware. Most of them were "pay to unlock computer" or "pay to clean out virus" crap.

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