July 14, 2021 – Alberta RCMP are warning the public about a Facebook fraud scam after police received a complaint about a citizen who was a victim of a relationship/dating scam.
The individual met the scammer on a Facebook Dating App and struck up a friendship that lasted about 6 months. They communicated on Facebook and on an App called “Telegram.” The man stated he was a doctor in the military on a mission overseas. After several months of communicating online, their friendship moved into a romantic online relationship.
In early June, the alleged fraudster claimed he needed money for a birthday present (a piano) for his son, who lived in the United States. The St. Albert resident wire transferred US$7500 to a bank account in the United States, thinking it was for the birthday present. Unfortunately, after the fact, the citizen realized this was a scam and the money was lost.
This is just one of many relationship scams circulating in Canada. In 2020 alone, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre reported Canadians lost over $18.5 million to scammers pretending to be in love.
RCMP are now warning people about these scams and give tips on how to protect themselves from being victimized.
RCMP tips on avoiding falling victim to a scam:
- Calls from unfamiliar area codes/numbers;
- Emails from unknown senders or addresses;
- Online or phone requests for immediate payments, money transfers, e-transfers, or gifts cards (including from individuals from dating apps);
- When personal or financial information is requested via text or email;
- Pre-recorded phone messages or voicemails from banks or government agencies;
- Caution is urged when dealing with cheques from unknown parties;
- If you’re unfamiliar with cryptocurrency/how it works, avoid using it.
Those who have been a victim of fraud or would like more information on all the different fraudulent scams in Canada, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or call your local detachment.