Heartbroken widower scammed out of $377,000
A widower from Victoria has been left heartbroken after falling for an expensive and elaborate dating service scam.
The man was promised a bride-to-be from a group saying they were a dating agency, but instead, he ended up penniless.
The 69-year-old, who has requested to remain anonymous, was tricked into handing over large sums of money over the course of a year.
The amount money he ended up handing over was approximately $377,000.
The retiree was coerced in to handing over the funds for fees, such as membership fees, marriage costs, an engagement ring, as well as paying for his future wife’s legal fees.
The lonely man was trying to build a life after his wife of 35 years passed away and decided to try the matchmaking service.
"It was stupid but I was very vulnerable. I was lonely at the time and was feeling very low. I thought there was a connection," he told Sunshine Coast Daily.
The man met women who were posing as office consultants and managers to collect the payments from him. They met at a range of locations, including Melbourne Airport.
'I think they are animals. They have left me destitute. It was my life savings and now I try to get by on a pension," he explained.
There are a range of ways to see whether or not the person you’re talking to is trustworthy, which include:
- Take your time, especially when talking about yourself. You don’t need to tell them your whole life story as soon as you meet them.
- Check if there are records of the person you’re interested in online. Use a search engine to check their profile images.
- Keep your bank and account information private.
- Do not transfer money to a ‘safe account’ and ignore anyone who asks you to do this.
- Report suspicious behaviour immediately, trust your instincts and stop talking to anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable.
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