Fraud in the News

Fraud affairs of the heart and more

Fraud affairs of the heart

Three elderly men in Australia lost almost half a million dollars in an alleged romance scam that police believe may have involved dozens more victims.

Responding to a personal ad for a “country lady at heart looking for her soulmate,” a man from Toowoomba paid $42,000 and a man from Far North Queensland paid $343,500 after the woman claimed she needed money to break her work contract. Suspicious friends and lack of communication from the woman once she was paid compelled the men to report the incidents.

Police investigated three Gold Coast homes in July and found $79,200 in cash stuffed inside pillows in one of the homes. Further evidence revealed a third victim who was scammed out of more than $111,000. The police arrested two women from Benowa who were each charged with five counts of fraud and one man from Mermaid Beach who allegedly helped coordinate communication in the scam. (See “Police believe dozens of Australian victims could be linked to alleged romance scam,” by Nicholas McElroy, ABC News, Sept. 6, 2023 and “Police warn of romance scams after two men report alleged fraud,” by Anna Houlahan, Inner East Review, Sept. 6, 2023.) 

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