How sugar daddy scammers target lonely women in the run-up to Valentine’s Day


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Australians to lose $37m to romance scams in 2021 as experts warn dating app users to be on high alert ahead of Valentine's Day, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission finds

How sugar daddy scammers target lonely women in the run-up to Valentine’s Day

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How sugar daddy scammers are targeting lonely women ahead of Valentine’s Day — these are the red flags to watch out for

  • Australians lost $37 million to romance scams in 2021, according to ACCC data
  • People who warn people to enter ‘sugar daddy’ relationships online have emerged
  • Dating app scammers hope to target lonely people before Valentine’s Day
  • Several expensive local florists under investigation for misleading customers

As Valentine’s Day approaches, sugar daddy scammers are on the rise, and more lonely victims than ever.

Australians will lose $37 million to romance scams in 2021, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has found, as people are warned to be extra careful ahead of the most romantic day of the year, February 14.

KnowBE4 Asia-Pacific security awareness advocate Jacqueline Jayne warned Saturday that people entering “sugar daddy” relationships — especially through dating apps — should be wary of their partners asking for money.

Australians to lose $37m to romance scams in 2021 as experts warn dating app users to be on high alert ahead of Valentine's Day, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission finds

Australians to lose $37m to romance scams in 2021 as experts warn dating app users to be on high alert ahead of Valentine’s Day, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission finds

Sugar daddy often offer money or luxury in exchange for a sexual or romantic relationship online or in person.

“The scammers take their time to gain trust before asking for payment to activate an account that holds their sugar money,” she told the Herald Sun.

“Unfortunately, dating apps attract not only lonely hearts, but also scammers.”

Dating app users warned not to send money to people they met online as Valentine's Day approaches

Dating app users warned not to send money to people they met online as Valentine’s Day approaches

Security expert Luis Corrons said dating app users should prioritize their privacy and report suspicious behavior.

‘Online dating platforms have made it easy and convenient to quickly find a date, and sometimes true love. To keep it fun, it’s important that people know how to do it safely,” he said.

However, romance seekers should also be on high alert for flower scams.

The ACCC is urging flower shoppers to be on the lookout for fake ‘local’ businesses buying outsourced goods and inflating prices.

ACCC urges people to buy flowers to watch out for fake 'local' businesses buying outsourced goods and inflating prices

ACCC urges people to buy flowers to watch out for fake ‘local’ businesses buying outsourced goods and inflating prices

Several local florists are under investigation for buying flower arrangements from off-site distribution centers and selling them at premium prices under the guise of locally grown products.

ACCC vice-chairman Delia Rickard said people were happy to pay more for reliable local products but were being misled.

“When national order takers use suburban-specific messages in their online digital marketing, they can mislead consumers into thinking they’re dealing with small local businesses,” she said.

Scams should be reported to Scamwatch and the ATO hotline on 1800 008 540.

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