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.

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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]

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