SA has been identified as one of 20 countries in the world where people are most likely to fall victim to online romance scams.
Techshielder, a technology and online safety news website, conducted a study with domestic and international reports to find the countries where such scams are most prevalent.
Research found that dating scams will cost the world more than R3 billion in 2020, which average loss of around 250,000 rand per victim.
The Philippines topped the list with 1,315 reports, followed by Nigeria with 1,129 reports and Canada with 1,054.
SA was reported with 190 Cases below.
“At the other end we have the European country Iceland. The nation has only recorded one case of dating scams and has not stolen any money at all, “said Lasse Walstad, co-founder of Techshielder.
” Finding love online can be difficult, especially when the person who is you trusted it turns out they are not who they say they are.
“Cat fishing scams, also known as dating scams or romance scams, have had a huge impact as the pandemic progresses Increase recorded. Scammers not only broke the heart of a lot of people, they also left their pockets empty, ”said Walstad.
Cat fishing was defined as creating a fake profile to attract someone online.
Scammers make friends with victims over the internet in hopes of convincing them to send money.
“It should be noted that cat fishing is not always a romantic relationship. It can also come in the form of family, friend or business relationships, “said Walstad.
” A great driving force behind dating scams is the financial benefits for the scammers. You build trust with victims to trick them into sending money on false pretenses.
“In today’s society, it is normal to meet and develop a relationship online, especially during the pandemic When dating online and looking for the right person, it is important to be on your guard so that you can tell when something is wrong or suspicious.
“There are people out there who will take advantage of this in search of love. Before falling for the whirlwind of love or sending money, watch out for red flags.
“If it’s too good to be true, it usually is,” said Walstad.