Gardaí warns against sharing details on dating apps – Donegal Daily
Donegal Gardaí is warning members of the public to be aware of romance fraud.
From January 2022 to the end of May, 31 cases of love fraud were reported to An Garda Síochána, including 23 women and 8 men.
In all but one of these cases, the victims met the suspect through a dating app or social media.
In total, these 31 cases reported the loss of money, which in almost all cases was transferred to accounts outside Ireland or to Bitcoin wallets.
Romance fraud is enabled through online dating sites or other social media by scammers who will provide victims with well-constructed stories designed to deceive.
Victims develop online relationships with scammers who use fake identities, photographs and life histories and they will eventually ask for money.
In some recent cases, Gardaí has seen these criminals target people with learning disabilities.
The advice of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau to anyone on a dating site or in contact with a stranger on social media is:
- Use reputable dating sites and use their messaging service. Don’t move too quickly to social media or texting. Beware of unsolicited links, approaches or suggested likes.
- Be careful what you share on social media and online dating sites. Do not reveal your full name or home address. Protect your identity.
- Beware of people who ask a lot of questions about you but don’t reveal much about themselves. They will come across as the perfect person, like what you like, reflect your interests, want what you want.
- Beware of chat snippets that are out of sync with previous chats. Fraudsters interact with several victims at the same time, following scripts prepared for them and they can sometimes get confused as to which victim they are talking to.
- Never send money or give your bank details to anyone you’ve never met, no matter how much you believe and trust them. Do not download apps like “AnyDesk” at their request or allow them to control your device.
- Don’t send them money or pay medical bills, buy flights or VISA, pay customs or make any payment for them to come visit you.
- Don’t invest your money in “opportunities” offered by them or someone you only “met” online. Always seek independent financial and legal advice first.
- Remember that individuals can impersonate the person they want to be online. You can Google an image to see if it appears on multiple sites or profiles.
- Never provide copies of your personal documents such as passports or driving licenses.
- Never make arrangements or travel to meet them unless you are sure of their identity. Be sure to confide in someone and make sure the person knows you are confiding in someone else.
- Keep copies of correspondence with them.
- If you think you have been a victim, contact your bank immediately. The sooner you act, the better your chances of recovering lost funds.
- Do not feel embarrassed to report this type of fraud to Gardaí, you are not alone.
Gardaí warns against sharing details on dating apps was last modified: July 5, 2022 by