Scammers rip off the lonely

National Consumer Fraud Week is a time to be wary of the multitude of scams preying on consumers.
National Consumer Fraud Week is a time to be wary of the multitude of scams preying on consumers. Jordan Philp

IF SOMETHING seems too good to be true, it's often because it is.

That is the message being delivered by the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce which is calling on Australians to take a step back and think about whether someone they met online is the real deal, particularly if they ask for money.

The Taskforce's National Consumer Fraud Week campaign, Know Who You're Dealing With, focuses on relationship scams and helping Australians learn how to identify, avoid and disengage from scammers.

To coincide with the campaign, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission launched its fifth Targeting Scams annual report, which revealed that dating and romance scams moved to number one position in terms of financial losses with more than $25 million lost to scam "admirers".

Relationship scams are acts of fraud premised on a scammer building a deceptive connection with an individual or business in order to secure personal details or money.

Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said there was no shortage of predators online looking for vulnerable and lonely people.

"There is a level of sophistication to some of these scams that anyone can fall victim to in a moment of lapsed judgment," he said.

For more information on the Taskforce and National Consumer Fraud Week click here.

Topics:  coffs coast scams

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