Home Scam/Fraud No love lost: Kiwis losing millions annually to online romance scams

No love lost: Kiwis losing millions annually to online romance scams

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West Coast beekeeper Roy Arbon lost a fortune in a series of elaborate scams. Photo / Loading Docs

Kiwis are losing millions of dollars a year to romance scams, according to the police’s financial crime unit.

Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Allan says they’re receiving a “consistent stream” of reports from people who have been scammed by a potential love interest they met online or via a dating app.

Allan says the scam usually begins with a match on a reputable dating site, and the scammer then moves the conversation to WhatsApp.

From here, they have a story about being a wealthy businessman or military staff based overseas – once trust has been gained, they request money from their victim.

Often, they prefer cryptocurrency but sending cash or requesting a bank transfer is also common.

Allan says an investigation into the scams indicates they are usually run by an organised crime group based offshore and are scamming multiple people at…

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