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Norfolk senior defrauded of $200,000 in romance scam: OPP

Police say the victim forwarded about $200,000 over the course of two years to a person they met via a dating website.
Police say the victim forwarded about $200,000 over the course of two years to a person they met via a dating website. Jonathan Hayward / The Canadian Press

A two-year online relationship left a senior in Norfolk County defrauded of $200,000, according to OPP.

Police say they were first contacted last Wednesday by a local bank employee who reported an alleged fraud.

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Following an investigation, police say officers learned a client at the bank had allegedly been defrauded of about $200,000 following an online relationship established via a dating website.

Police say the client’s correspondence with the person they met online, who investigators have identified as a suspect, included several emails that exchanged details of the suspect’s history and employment status.

Police say the suspect had requested to borrow money from the victim, with the suspect reportedly telling the victim that several emergencies had taken place in their life.

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The victim agreed and, between July 2018 and January 2020, sent $200,000 to the suspect, according to police.

Police did not provide any further information on the suspect.

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Police say the incident is a common example of a romance scam or dating scam.

According to police, these scams often begin on social media and online dating sites and involve a person gaining the trust and affection of a victim, only to eventually steal their money and personal information.

Police advise people to never send money or provide financial information to someone they do not know, adding that requests to send money to a foreign country should be viewed as a red flag.

Those seeking more information on fraud and scams can call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

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