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Melbourne man Gerard Prescott turned to a private investigator earlier this year after losing 0,000 through an online dating scam."For the last 12 months all I've done is look for answers" he said."I got a private investigator to find the IP addresses, and I found an IP address in Nigeria and one in South Africa."Mr Prescott was tricked into sending the money after meeting who he thought was a Brisbane-based woman on a Christian dating website late last year.
Mr Prescott originally reported the fraud to the Federal Government's Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Authority (ACORN), but said he did not get a response until six months later."I haven't been able to get the police to do anything," he said.
Scammers take advantage of the anonymity of the internet to create the 'perfect profile', making any number of promises to tempt their victims to letting their defences down. This will not happen immediately, however before long the scammer will ask for financial help for any number of reasons.
In some cases, online dating services are themselves engaged in misrepresentation, displaying profiles which have been fabricated, which use personal information from users who have not agreed to be depicted on the site social accounts, classified sites and even forums to groom new victims.
Letters are exchanged between the scammer and victim until the scammer feels they have groomed the victim enough to ask for money.
This might be for requests for gas money or bus and airplane tickets to travel to visit the victim, medical expenses, education expenses etc.
These are examples of some of the most notorious scams in the world of online dating and on the internet in general.
This is one of the most popular scams in online dating.