(BlackburnNews.com file photo)

Perth County resident loses $20K in dating scam

A Perth County resident lost $20,000 in a romance scam.

Perth County OPP officers were told that a resident established an online relationship with a man after a meeting on a social media website.

The pair exchanged emails, and then the suspect claimed several emergencies had taken place, and he asked for money.

Single or recently unattached people – often females – are among the growing number of vulnerable residents to be victimized by criminals through fraudulent means

Knowledge is power. All consumers – regardless of age and gender – can take basic steps to better protect themselves from becoming victims of fraud, such as never giving out personal information over the phone, the internet or through social media/dating websites.

Always get independent advice – from family members, a trusted friend or advisor — if any offers involve money, personal information, time or commitment.

Tips to Avoid Being a Victim of a Romance / Dating Scam

• Check website addresses carefully. Scammers often set up fake websites with very similar addresses to legitimate dating websites. Make sure you only use legitimate and reputable dating websites.

• Never send money, or give credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust. A request to send money to a foreign country (using Western Union or MoneyGram) to this person you have never personally met should be a red flag.

• Don’t give out any personal information in an email or when you are chatting online. Like any scam, use your computer to your advantage. Educate yourself. Check the person’s name, the company name the addresses used, and ask yourself, “Would this be normal?”

• Ask yourself – “Would someone I have never met really declare their love for me after only a few letters or emails?”

It’s not always easy to spot scams, and new ones are invented every day.