The Royal Gibraltar Police has recently been informed of persons falling foul of a well-known on-line scam.
Romance Fraud, is a scam that involves people being duped into sending money to criminals who go to great lengths to gain the victim’s trust and to convince them that they are in a genuine relationship.
The fraudsters use basic language to manipulate, persuade and exploit vulnerable individuals, so that requests for money do not raise alarm bells.
These requests might be highly emotive, such as criminals claiming they need money for emergency medical care, or to pay for transport costs to visit the victim if they are overseas. Sometimes they offer investment opportunities to the victim.
Scammers will often build a relationship with their victims over time, with the aim of extracting money from vulnerable individuals.
The RGP recommends six simple steps which may help someone to avoid being scammed:
1. Don't share personal details.
2. Don't send or receive money to or from unknown individuals.
3. Use trusted dating websites.
4. Don't share personal contact details.
5. Think twice before using your webcam.
6. Trust your instincts.
A spokesman for the RGP said, ‘We hope people will follow this advice but, if anyone does feel that they have been defrauded in this way, they should report it on 20072500 or at www.police.gi/report-online. Don’t be embarrassed – report it.’