June 26, 2018 10:00 am
Updated: June 26, 2018 10:05 am

Peterborough woman loses $187,000 in ‘romance’ scam, police say

Peterborough police have investigated five romance scams so far in 2018.

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Peterborough police are warning the public about a so-called “romance” scam after a city woman lost $187,000 to fraudsters.

The woman was the fifth local victim of a romance scam this year, Peterborough police say.

Police say the victim met the scammer on Facebook last August. A relationship grew over the following months.

“The scammer told the woman that he works in a job in a remote location where he cannot easily access funds and his bank accounts,” police said.

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Eventually, the scammer asked the victim to borrow money, police said. It led to wire transfers over the next few months totalling $187,000.

READ MORE: How to avoid romance scams? Set boundaries, recognize red flags: matchmaker

“These scammers know all the right things to say to make the victim trust them and fall in love with them,” stated Det. Const. Keith Calderwood, Peterborough Police Service Fraud Unit.

“This scam doesn’t happen overnight. The fraudsters are extremely convincing and patient. They will spend several months developing a ‘relationship’ with the victim before asking for money.”

Calderwood says since January 2018, there have been five romance scams involving five separate victims reported and investigated.

In these scams the victims, of all ages and gender, lost approximately $2,000, $4,400, $15,000, $46,000 and $187,000, respectively.

“These scams are extremely difficult to solve. That is why crime prevention is so crucial,” Calderwood said.

“We urge people to stop, pause and think before divulging any personal or banking information or transferring money to a person online whom you’ve never met.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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