Listowel man loses thousands in "romance scam"
From small startups to well-established platforms, a number of online apps are offering video chat and other services to help people connect amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (doomu / shutterstock.com)
OPP continue to warn Ontario residents about online romance scams after a Listowel man was defrauded.
A Listowel resident called Perth County OPP Saturday morning to report being defrauded.
The man told officers that he met a woman from Ghana (West Africa) on the dating site “Plenty of Fish” and had built a relationship with her. He said that she indicated that she wanted to come visit him, but could not afford the trip. She said she also needed extra funds because it would cost her to be allowed to travel outside of Africa.
The Listowel man wired her a total of $5,000. Not long after transferring the money, he realized that he was being strung along and the woman had no intention of travelling anywhere. That's when he called police.
In a media release, the OPP said “Scammers can easily steal photos online and use dating sites and social media to lure victims into sending money for various reasons. Scammers may also send you small enticing gifts to prove they are genuine. They may express a desire to meet you in person even though they are usually a long distance away; possibly even another country. Having gained the victim’s trust, the fraudster may ask you for flight money to visit, or claim to have a personal emergency in which they will ask you to send money. Sometimes they don’t ask, the victim simply feels compelled to send the money because they believe they have a trusting relationship.”