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The consequences for victims of romance scams are truly devastating, both financially and emotionally.Some victims have reportedly lost their entire life savings, put a mortgage on their house, or took huge debts.The major difference between the two genders is the amount of financial losses: million for women against million for men.This is of course just the tip of the iceberg: a lot of victims refrain to report having being romance-scammed due to embarrassment and emotional suffering. A romance scam is a fraud technique that criminals use to access their victims’ finances by engaging in a romantic relationship with them, gaining their trust and affection so that they can later manipulate their lovers-victims into willingly sending them money.After establishing the first contact, scammers will try to move communications as quickly as possible to a more private channel, such as emails, text messages or phone calls.That helps them to stay undercover and avoid detection from dating websites or apps.Last year only, studies showed that more than million dollars were stolen due to romance scams in Australia.It’s interesting to note that not only women are targeted, but men too: they were actually equitably represented in the survey, with 45% and 43% respectively.
Several reasons may be given: a sudden financial difficulty, a medical emergency, a family drama, help with a business investment, need to rebook the flights to come visit them...For example, Facebook is trying to put a stop to fake profiles to reduce the number of romance scams’ scheme beginning on their platform; and some banks have the habit of monitoring any unusual banking activities that can be the result of a romance scam, they then contact their clients to investigate on their reasons for such money transfers. The group, from the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), saw their lucrative scheme come to an end when police cracked their scheme after months of investigating.Emotionally, victims are left scarred for life, and can suffer from depression and anxiety.On a more hopeful note, it’s important to stress the fact that there are a few protections against romance scams.