The Northern Territory Police Cybercrime Unit is warning Territorians to be aware of online romance scams.
NT Police have received reports of these scams happening locally. Reports have increased since COVID-19 restrictions began earlier this year to an average of one per week.
As a result, some victims have lost large amounts of money; some have become further victims of ‘sextortion’ from intimate photographs shared and others have become unwilling participants in the dealing of proceeds of crime.
Senior Constable Joel Smith from the Cybercrime Unit said, “The offenders are often not who they say they are and look to use a person’s trust and loneliness to progress the relationship at an accelerated rate.
“As a result of the relationships, some victims have been asked to provide the offenders with their bank account details or even give them access to their online banking; from here the offenders come up with an elaborate hoax as to why they are putting money into their account. They will then ask the victim to transfer the money to them usually using an international money transfer service; as a result of this the victim becomes an unwilling participants in dealing with proceeds of crime as the money placed into their account is obtained fraudulently.”
Don’t share intimate photos or banking details with persons you have not met in person. Be careful of who you are meeting on social platforms that you do not know.
If you believe you have become a victim of an online romance scam, report the matter at www.cyber.gov.au