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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019
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Police issue warning after woman swindled out of more than £300,000 in romance scam

The PSNI said they commonly receive reports of fraud.

Image: Shutterstock/shanghainese

POLICE IN THE North have issued a warning about online romance scams as it investigates a case of a woman who was swindled out of more than £300,000.

In this case, the woman was befriended by a man on Facebook three years ago and they developed a relationship.

After three months, she was asked for money so his children could be educated in England. She was then asked for money relating to investments in Ghana and Dubai.

Believing his stories, she repeatedly sent him money which eventually exceeded £300,000.

Chief Superintendent Simon Walls said the PSNI receives reports of fraud on a regular basis, and urged victims who may feel embarrassed to come forward to do so.

“Sadly, this report where a life changing amount of money has been lost is a stark example of how scammers don’t care about the long-lasting impact their devious and despicable actions have on their victims,” he said. 

According to Walls, scammers don’t target a specific gender, sexuality, race or age. 

“No matter what type of scam it is, and the different methods employed, the one common element is that scammers will go to great lengths to trick people and take advantage of their vulnerability and good faith,” the chief superintendent said.

He appealed to members of the public not to fall victim to these scams and had this advice: 

Protect yourself if you want to use the internet in search of love or companionship.  Start off with a reputable website. Look out for someone asking lots of questions, but not giving any detail about themselves. Don’t ever hand over any money. Never let anyone you don’t know or trust transfer money into your bank account.

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Sean Murray

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