Gardaí warn people to beware of romance scams after woman parts with €48,000

Gardaí warn people to beware of romance scams after woman parts with €48,000

Gardaí are advising people to beware of romance scams this Valentine's Day after one woman gave €48,000 to a fraudster over a 13-month period.

The woman was showered with expensive gifts, including scarves and perfumes, before she was asked to invest in her suitor’s business.

She initially delayed reporting the fraud to gardaí as she was married.

In another case in the west, a fraudster was found guilty of taking nearly €19,000 from a victim.

They obtained money through deception over a five-month period after meeting the victim through a dating website.

Gardaí say victims of the scam believe they have met their perfect match online, but the other person is, in fact, a scammer using a fake profile to build the relationship.

They slowly gain the victim’s trust with a view to eventually asking them for money.

The extent of the scam is not fully known because many of the victims are too embarrassed to report the fraud to gardaí.

Detective Inspector Catharina Gunne from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau said: "Romance fraudsters may try to get their victims to send them money using the following excuses: to cover the cost of travelling to see the victim; for emergency medical expenses for the scammer or a family member — typically a child; a business opportunity which would allow them to live together comfortably.

"In the beginning, the amount of money requested will often be small but increases as the scammer becomes more successful in building the ‘relationship’ and tricking the victim," she said.

More on this topic

Louise O'Neill: What mattered was you were special enough to warrant sending a ValentineLouise O'Neill: What mattered was you were special enough to warrant sending a Valentine

Care home resident recreates first date with wife nearly 68 years laterCare home resident recreates first date with wife nearly 68 years later

Hugh Jackman in puzzling display of love on Valentine’s Day as stars get soppyHugh Jackman in puzzling display of love on Valentine’s Day as stars get soppy

Working it out together: Three couples share their recipe for a happy marriageWorking it out together: Three couples share their recipe for a happy marriage


More in this Section

New IRA plans under car bomb attack on Sinn Fein members – O’NeillNew IRA plans under car bomb attack on Sinn Fein members – O’Neill

Bullying ‘always lingering in back of your mind’Bullying ‘always lingering in back of your mind’

Man who conned elderly woman out of €10,000 jailed for three yearsMan who conned elderly woman out of €10,000 jailed for three years

Fine Gael: We are preparing to go into OppositionFine Gael: We are preparing to go into Opposition


Lifestyle

Katie Wright recaps all the top stories from the UK’s fashion capital.London Fashion Week: Everything you might have missed from the autumn/winter shows

The 31st Cork French Film Festival's opening night film Proxima was the French film nominee for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.Full spectacle of French film at Cork Film Festival

Tinfoil hats were the headwear of choice at Keith Barry's enjoyable show, writes Esther N McCarthyREVIEW: Keith Barry at the Everyman in Cork

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine advises a woman whose husband’s controlling behaviour is making her feel trapped.Ask a counsellor: Why has my husband become so jealous and possessive?

More From The Irish Examiner