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Quebec provincial police crack down on romance scam that bilked victims of $2.3M

Quebec provincial police say there are about 50 victims who were targeted by the scam.
Quebec provincial police say there are about 50 victims who were targeted by the scam. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Quebec provincial police are dismantling a romance scam network that bilked 50 victims of $2.3 million.

The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) says at least 12 arrests are expected in the regions of Montreal, Quebec City and Outaouais on Tuesday morning. This includes the presumed head of the ring and his two lieutenants.

The alleged fraudsters reportedly targeted vulnerable and elderly victims who were found on dating sites and social media.

Read more: Ontario woman speaks out about romance scam

Police say the romance scam was operational for several years in the province. The network is alleged to have targeted about 50 people.

Those who are arrested are expected to appear by video conference Tuesday to face charges of fraud or concealment, depending on their alleged involvement in the case, according to the SQ.

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Investigators say it is possible there are more victims. They are asking anyone who was targeted by an online romance scam to contact their local police station.

With files from the Canadian Press