Why you should check your mum’s Tinder: Tech-savvy young people are asked to prevent parents falling for online romance scams
- Young people have been urged to prevent parents from online romance scams
- Queensland Police said many fraud scams could be prevented with a simple chat
- Rise of scamming syndicates is costing Australians billions of dollars every year
- Police said it’s crucial to maintain privacy to avoid being targeted by scammers
Tech-savvy young people have been urged to prevent parents and grandparents from falling for online romance scams.
Speaking to ABC’s Four Corners earlier this month, Queensland police Detective Inspector Vince Byrnes said many scams could be easily avoided with a chat.
‘Those tech-savvy younger people in our community, they can really help friends and family – be it parents and grandparents – to have a different perspective on what may be happening online with that new prospective partner,’ Det. Insp. Byrnes said.
Tech-savvy young people have been urged to prevent parents and grandparents from falling for online romance scams
According to the program, there’s a growing concern over the rise of international scamming syndicates, which are costing Aussies billions of dollars every year.
With an abundance of online romance sites comes plenty of opportunities for scammers to woo unsuspecting and vulnerable Australians – particularly the elderly, Det. Insp. Byrnes said.
‘The use of social media by which scammers can target individuals has been noticed by police, it’s a medium which they’ve used and have moved into mobile apps including Tinder, Facebook and other social media venues,’ Det. Insp. Byrnes said.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has also noticed an upward trend in scammers targeting hopeless romantics.
According to the ACCC’s Scamwatch, scamming via apps has increased by more than 300 per cent, with more than $1.2million people being scammed in January alone.
One woman who fell victim to an online scammer she met on the app WeChat told the publication she handed over $300,000 in the space of a few months.
The woman – who asked to remain anonymous – said despite her initial doubts, she still managed to fall for the scammer’s charms and gave him whatever he wanted.
Det. Insp. Byrnes said with more people using the internet and apps to find love, there’s a greater pool of victims that can be targeted by criminals – in particular older people
Senior Constable Steve Smith told the publication it’s crucial to maintain privacy so you can avoid being targeted and profiled by scammers.
‘That information is the bread and butter for our romance scammers, they will analyse that long before they ever make an initial contact with a potential victim,’ Constable Smith said.
The constable said one of the biggest problems is people’s inability to recognise when they are being scammed by crooks – no doubt as a result of being smitten.
Speaking up about online relationships with loved ones – whether a friend or family member – could prevent terrible losses, identity theft, or financial failure, he said.