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Canadians lost more than $18M to romance scams in 2020

According to stats from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
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(stock photo)

Online dating has certainly become more common during the pandemic. But if you're looking for love, you're reminded to take some precautions. 

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Canadians lost more than $18.5-million to romance scams in 2020. 

Waterloo Regional Police said the incidents have happened locally as well. 

Detective Jason Murray with the WRPS Fraud Branch said the scammers will foster a relationship with their victims before exploiting them. 

"The fraudster will typically reach out to a victim through an online social media platform, like Facebook or Instagram - and communicate with the victim for weeks or months, causing the victim to believe they are in a relationship with the fraudster."

Murray said the situation will then escalate as the fraudster will claim 'impediments' to the relationship have developed. 

"Causing the fraudster to ask the victim for money. The victim, believing that they are in a relationship, is often induced into sending money to the fraudster."

Murray said as a result, victims can lose tens of thousands of dollars.

For more details on romance scams, including 'red flags' to look out for, click here

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