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The scammers often make use of what appear to be Australian Government email addresses to send fraudulent emails to the Australian party, informing them that the friend or prospective marriage partner has been granted a visa to visit Australia to further the relationship.The message may include fake details of a non-existent visa.And then the real scam starts."To ensure your safety online, Ucukalo advises users should limit the personal information shared on social network sites.Scammers can use your information and pictures to create a fake identity or to target you."As soon as you start engaging with people on these social networks, you're opening yourself up to fraudsters," Ucukalo said."A lot of the time fraudsters will try to move you to another, more discreet platform - that way you can't report them."If you can set up a video or voice chat, that will give you more confidence that they are who they claim to be."If you're receiving images, put that image into Google and do a reverse search, to see where else it has been published."And of course, never send money to someone you haven't met in person. You can usually find her writing about a variety of topics and drooling over new gadgets and games.According to the ACCC, Australians were scammed out of nearly half a billion dollars in 2018.
Once the money has been received, the relationship is usually terminated and any chance of recovering the funds is highly unlikely.
Besides spotting a potential scammer, there are a few precautions you can take to avoid online dating scams.
Firstly, use reverse image searches and tools like to verify a person’s online identity.
On mobile dating apps, don’t match with profiles that seem suspicious.
Furthermore, never send intimate images of yourself to an online acquaintance—scammers are now using these types of pictures for blackmail and extortion schemes.
One of the newer online dating scams doesn’t request money from victims, but turns them into “money mules”.