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Online dating scam warning – protect your heart and your bank account

New Westminster – The New Westminster Police Department is warning residents about online dating scams involving fraudsters pretending to be prospective companions.

A New Westminster resident was corresponding with someone using a fictional identity through an online dating website. After corresponding with the resident over a number of months, the scammer asked for money to support his business. The New Westminster resident sent approximately $70,000 overseas to help at the request of the online sweetheart.

“These fraudsters will go to great lengths to gain your trust,” stated Sergeant Jeff Scott. “You think you’ve found the person you’ve been looking for, you’re in love, and unfortunately at that time you’re extremely vulnerable.”

In instances such as these scammers always have an excuse for why they can’t travel to meet you and why they always need more money. The best course of action is to never send money to someone you haven’t met in person.

Some red flags to watch for include someone professing their love before meeting in person, a vague profile, and requests to move the conversation from the dating website to personal email.

The New Westminster Police Department would like to remind residents to be very careful about how much personal information you share on social network sites. Scammers can use your information and pictures to create a fake identity or to target you with a scam.

If you suspect you may be the victim of fraud or have been tricked into giving personal or financial information, contact the New Westminster Police Department at 604-525-5411.