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Crime

OPP issue warning after Perth County senior loses $20,000 to romance scam

Perth County OPP say a enior was bilked out of more than $20,000 in an online dating scam.
Perth County OPP say a enior was bilked out of more than $20,000 in an online dating scam. OPP

Perth County OPP has issued a warning about an online dating scam after a senior was bilked out of $20,000.

Police say they were contacted by the victim after she reported concerns about a relationship she had established with a man on a social media web site.

OPP say that soon after the relationship began, the man began asking for money while claiming it was to cover for emergencies.

READ MORE: Romance scams are on the rise. Here’s how to avoid them

They say that over a one-year period, the woman gave the man $20,000.

“In talking to a friend about what was happening, the friend said, we need to call the police,” Const. Barry Cookson told Global News.

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Cookson said the money was transferred in small amounts using Google play cards.

READ MORE: Barrie police warning residents of distraction theft scam

Police have issued several tips for residents to avoid falling prey to similar romance scam artists.

WATCH (March 25, 2019): Romance scam leads to family tragedy

Consumer Matters: Romance scam leads to family tragedy
Consumer Matters: Romance scam leads to family tragedy

They say to make sure the website is legitimate, as scammers will often set up sites with similar URLs to legitimate and reputable dating websites.

OPP says that a request to send money to a foreign country is a “red flag.”

READ MORE: Here’s how to tell between a genuine CRA phone call and a scammer

They are also warning residents not to provide any personal information while they are chatting online.

Police also say users should check the person’s name and personal information online to seek credibility.

They are also suggesting that you go to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre web site to familiarize yourself with potential online scams.

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