Trust your gut: If it doesn't feel right, chances are it isn't right.
'Many of our romance victims who have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars say they had that feeling right at the beginning when they were first asked for money, that something wasn't quite right. But because they want to trust that person they have spent time getting to know online they ignore that feeling. And it's this feeling we want people to trust,' says Griffith University criminologist Dr Jacqueline Drew.
Keep your personal details personal: Never share personal information or photos with someone you don't know and trust---especially photos or webcam calls of a private nature. There have been reports of scammers using this material to blackmail victims.
Watch out: If an online admirer asks to communicate with you outside the dating website, such as through a private email address or over the phone, watch out: they could be trying to avoid detection. If you are considering meeting in person, choose a public place and let family or friends know where you are at all times.
Search: Run a Google Image search to check the authenticity of any photos provided. Scammers often use fake photos they've found online.
Think twice: Never send money to someone you've met online, especially via money order, wire transfer or international funds transfer; it's rare to recover money sent this way.
The ACCC also provides guidance on protecting yourself from scams and where to get help.
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