BRITISH COLUMBIA

Victoria Victim Loses $88K In Online Romance Scam

11/19/2013 01:16 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
A Victoria resident has lost $88,000 in an online romance scam after wiring cash to a somebody posing as an overseas love interest, according to investigators with the Victoria Police Department's Financial Crimes unit.

Police said the scam had been going on for months as the scammer developed an online relationship with the victim using internet messenger services and an online dating site.  

On at least one occasion bank staff attempted to persuade the victim not to send the cash, but in the end it was sent, and later tracked to Malaysia and then to Nigeria.

Police say the victim became suspicious after losing contact with the person after wiring tens of thousands of dollars overseas.

Det. Mike Johnston said it was not the first time that Victoria residents had fallen victim to the online romance scam.

“It’s a sad reality that frauds like this are prevalent even here in Victoria,” he said.

In two cases earlier this year, romance scams took victims for over $50,000, he said.

“We’ve seen time and time again that tens of thousands of dollars are being taken from victims here in our communities. We’re hoping that people will think twice before sending any cash or agreeing to any payment options that may seem even a bit suspicious.

"When in doubt, talk to someone you trust.”

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