Romance scammers steal hearts,
GARDAÍ are advising
people to beware of romance scams.
Victims of the scam believe they have met their
perfect match online but the other person is in fact
a scammer using a fake profile to build the
relationship. They slowly gain the victim’s trust
with a view to eventually asking them for money.
One Irish woman was showered with expensive gifts,
including scarves and perfumes, before she was asked
to invest in her suitor’s business. Over a thirteen
month period, the woman gave the romance fraudster
€48,000. The woman initially delayed reporting the
fraud to gardaí as she was married.
The extent of the scam is not fully known because
many of the victims are too embarrassed to report
the fraud to gardaí.
Detective Inspector Catharina Gunne warns: "Romance
fraudsters may try to get their victims to send them
money using the following excuses:
• to cover the cost of travelling to see the victim;
• for emergency medical expenses for the scammer or
a family member - typically a child;
• a business opportunity which would allow them to
live together comfortably.
In the beginning, the amount of money requested will
often be small but increases as the scammer becomes
more successful in building the ‘relationship’ and
tricking the victim.”
Recently, a romance fraudster in the west of Ireland
was found guilty of taking nearly €19,000 from a
victim. The perpetrator obtained money through
deception over a five month period after meeting the
victim through a dating website.
If you believe that you are a victim of a romance
scam or think your identity or personal information
has been compromised, contact any garda station and
report the crime. Please be assured that An Garda
Síochána will treat all reports in confidence.