Advertisement

Edmonton man charged in connection to romance scam in Orillia, Ont.

In April 2017, police say they were notified of a suspected fraud, where the victim had sent $25,000 to the fraudster.
In April 2017, police say they were notified of a suspected fraud, where the victim had sent $25,000 to the fraudster. Getty Images

A 35-year-old Edmonton man has been charged for fraud in connection to a romance scam that took place in Orillia, Ont., Ontario Provincial Police say.

In April 2017, police say they were notified of a suspected fraud, where the victim had sent $25,000 to the scammer.

After a lengthy investigation, officers identified Albert Gyamfi, from Edmonton, as the suspect. According to police, Gyamfi was also a suspect for similar frauds in other Ontario police jurisdictions.

READ MORE: ‘I want people to know so they can see the red flags’: Ontario woman speaks out about romance scam

Gyamfi was arrested in August and was charged with fraud over $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime, OPP say.

He’s set to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Orillia on Dec. 24.

Story continues below advertisement

Police say while arrests in romance scams are rare, the schemes are more common than people may think.

“In general terms, what they do is they say all the right things that people want to hear because people want that connection,” Orillia OPP Const. Martin Hill told Global News.

“All of a sudden these people are in love — or think they’re in love — and then they ask for a little bit of money, then a little bit more and then there’s a problem that they need something else for.”

READ MORE: How a B.C. woman lost nearly $1M to a romance scam, and the tragic consequences that followed

Eventually, the scammer may make threats, Hill said, including violence or extortion.

According to the OPP, the Better Business Bureau claims that Canadians reported $22.5 million lost to the romance scam in 2018 but estimates that losses are 20 times that number since most victims don’t report the scheme.

Officers say people who believe they’ve been victims of fraud should contact the OPP or their local police service.

Click to play video 'Police issue new warning about romance scams' Police issue new warning about romance scams
Police issue new warning about romance scams – Nov 18, 2019