Trusting Canadians lost more than $22 million dollars to romance scams in 2018

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the RCMP issued a warning about the dangers of online romance scams.

Scammers typically create fake profiles on dating websites or social media using stolen images. Then they lure potential victims into seemingly real, trusting relationships.

Eventually, as those relationships deepen, fraudsters begin to ask for money. The reasons behind the requests vary — money for a family emergency, medical bill, or the cost of a plane ticket to visit the victim.

Last year Ontario reported the most victims, losing almost $12 million dollars combined. Quebec was second with reported losses of more than $4 million. Yukon and Nunavut were the only places with no reported victims in 2018.

If you’re involved in an online relationship the RCMP warns you to be suspicious of people who repeatedly cancel in person or video meetings, or anyone who professes their love without having met face to face. And never, ever send money!

If you think you may have been the victim of a romance scam, contact your local police department or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.