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2 Waterloo residents lose $1.6M through online romance scams

Waterloo police are warning residents after two cases in which people were allegedly scammed out of $1.6 million via online dating. Sergei Konkov/Getty Images

Two Waterloo area residents were bilked out of over $1.6 million in online dating scams, Waterloo Regional Police said Monday.

Police said that one local woman lost $1 million over a four-year period while a man was taken for $660,000 in just four months.

Police say that both of the victims believed they were in relationships but had never met the person who they believed they were dating.

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Const. Andre Johnson says there have been other instances in which people in the region have been scammed through online dating, but the size of these incidents prompted Waterloo police to issue a warning for others.

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“The large amounts were the cause for concern and are why we issued a warning,” Johnson said.

With Canadians losing more than $17 million in 2017 to online dating scams, police are warning residents to be wary of anyone online who claims to love you when you have not met them, especially if they avoid face-to-face encounters.

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They also urge the public to be cautious when someone says they are facing an emergency that requires financial assistance early in any relationship.

Police also recommend an image search to make certain that any photos sent by a potential date are not stock images or taken from another individual.

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