Reporting romance scams
Reporting romance scams
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In this activity, you’ll find out what to do if you find yourself involved in a romance scam.
This activity will show you how to respond to a scammer, how to report the scam, and what to do next.Start activity
Anyone can be targeted by a romance scammer
If you think you’ve become involved in a romance scam, it’s important not to feel embarrassed. Online relationships are normal – after all, if it wasn’t normal to fall in love online, these scams couldn’t work!
Romance scammers rely on people being too embarrassed to report the scam and may even threaten to tell everyone you were fooled, in an attempt to keep you silent. Don’t be silent!
Recovering money is very difficult
Unfortunately, romance scammers are very careful to make sure you send them money using methods that make it very difficult to recover. They may ask you to use cryptocurrency, or clever money laundering techniques. This makes payments virtually impossible to cancel or reverse, even if you realise it’s a scam only moments after you send the money.
Prevent further loss of money
When you suspect a scam, you should act quickly to contact your bank and other financial institutions by phone and speak to the fraud or identity theft departments. Explain what’s happened to you, and they will guide you through the steps necessary to secure your money. You should:
- Ask for credit cards to be cancelled and reissued
- Change your PIN
- Change your passwords and personal access codes.
Report the scammer to social media
If you met the scammer on a social media platform, you should report their account as a scam or fake account.
If you met over text message or via email, you should report the scam to your mobile phone provider (such as Telstra or Optus), and your email provider (for example Microsoft or Google). You can find how to do this on their official web pages.
Report the scam to the Australian government
To help others avoid the scam, it’s important to report it to the ACCC’s Scamwatch website by visiting https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/report-a-scam. Also report the scam to the Australian Government’s cybercrime website at https://www.cyber.gov.au/acsc/report.
The information you provide may prove vital in shutting down these scammers and protecting yourself and others from being scammed in the future.
Cease contact with the scammer
When you suspect your online relationship or friendship is really a scam, cease contact with the scammer immediately. Don’t tell them you think they’re a scammer, as they will have many excuses and explanations ready, or may even try to quickly steal money from you before you have time to secure your finances.
This is the end of the Reporting a romance scam activity. You’ve learned the importance of acting quickly to protect yourself from the scammer and where to report the scam.
If you're a registered user, continue on to complete the quiz for this course. If you're not registered, this is the end of the Romance scams course.