Cops alert Mississauga and Brampton residents to dangers of romance scams


Published November 14, 2022 at 10:30 am

Mississauga and Brampton residents are being warned once again of the potential dangers–financial and otherwise–of pursuing romantic relationships online.

On the heels of Ontario Crime Prevention Week, which concluded this past weekend, fraud investigators and Crime Prevention Services officers with Peel Regional Police are alerting people to be on the lookout for online romance scams.

While many couples have successfully met online, police say there are also many scammers out there looking to take advantage of people who are searching for love.

Police say that based on reports made to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, romance scams account for the second-highest dollar loss of all frauds.

In a 90-second video posted to Twitter today (Nov. 14), Peel police Crime Prevention Services Const. Michael Wood warns people that “fraudsters are clever and prey on various vulnerabilities.

“It’s important to be aware that fraudsters create fake profiles in an attempt to gain your trust and affection to ultimately enter into an online relationship,” he said. “Though it may be exciting and fun, don’t let this blind you from the red flags waving at you. They may profess their love without even meeting you and continuously make excuses not to do so.”

Wood noted that fraudsters may ask their targets to send money for travel or medical emergencies or ask them to invest in their business ventures or other seemingly lucrative investment opportunities.

Cryptocurrency and asking for investments into bitcoin is another big red flag, police say.

“Scammers will play on your emotions and pressure you into making impulse decisions. If it’s too good to be true, trust your intuition,” said Wood.

Authorities across Canada and the United States spend a lot of time both warning people of romance scams and investigating after frauds have taken place.

“Millions of people turn to online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone. But instead of finding romance, many find a scammer trying to trick them into sending money,” a general online warning from authorities reads.

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