This retired nurse was living a happy retired life, as she got to spend more time with her sons and grandkids. However, she felt this overwhelming lonely feeling being single and alone in her house. In attempt to fix her loneliness, she set up an online dating profile to find a companion to love and care for, but that only lead her to be a victim of romance scams.
What Happened When She Tried Dating Online?
That’s when she met Kyle. He claimed to be a businessman overseas, who was close to retiring and enjoying life. When Marjan stumbled across his profile, he seemed like he was lonely and ready to settle down.
He quickly built a relationship with Marjan, sending her gifts and telling her how much he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Little did she know that it was all just a game.
Kyle Was a Romance Scammer
Kyle told her he couldn’t come back to Australia because he was apparently detained at the airport and needed money for his passports. After Marjan agreed to give him 100,000 dollars, she started questioning whether Kyle was really who he said he was.
She confessed to her son, Marcel, in giving Kyle money and he immediately knew that Kyle was a scammer. Marcel stated that while his mom is very intelligent, she also has a caring heart which made her vulnerable to this romance scam.
Marcel Helps His Mom Get Her Money Back
He set up a Go Fund Me account to “save his mum” to try and get back some of her life savings. He believes that banks should get more involved when older Australians try to wire money overseas.
He wants the banks to call trusted family members and notify them of when older Australians are about to send money overseas so that they can confirm if its a trusted transaction or not.
Should There Be Such a Law Enacted in Australia to Prevent Romance Scams?
Pros of enacting this law: There would be fewer romance scams in Australia due to family members stepping up and educating their loved ones on the dangers of scammers before they have the chance to send over the money. Older women would be given a second chance to think about what they are doing, and are more likely to end contact with the scammer.
Cons of enacting this law: The freedom of these older women would be taken away to make their own decision when it comes to if they want to wire money to individuals. They could get mad at family members for not allowing them to send the money, and it could cause conflict with loved ones. However, they would probably soon realize that if they sent the money, they would’ve been a victim of a romance scam and would be grateful for their family member’s actions.
Verdict (Author’s Opinion): The pros outweigh the cons and maybe there should be a law on getting approval for family members to wire money to foreign countries. That way it decreases the money lost in Australia due to romance scams, and later on the older women would be thankful that their loved ones saved their life savings.
Since last year, Australians were scammed out of a total of 28.6 million dollars. Out of this total, Australian women were scammed out of 21.5 million dollars, making up ¾ of the total money lost due to romance scams.
How to Avoid Being Involved in Romance Scams
- Don’t give anyone your personal or financial information. There is no reason why you need to give anyone you meet online your SSN or your bank account information. By doing this, you are essentially giving the scammer all that he needs to steal your money and run.
- Don’t give anyone money for any reason. There is no excuse as to why someone you meet on the Internet should be asking for money. They have family and friends to lean on if they are really in a bad place, they don’t need to ask for a new online relationship to save them financially.
- Be wary of edited photos, or photos that are too good to be true. If they look like a flawless model and have filters on their pictures, I hate to burst your bubble but that probably means your being scammed. Scammers dress up their photos with filters and edits so that image reverse searches can’t pick the photo up. Be wary and verify it’s really them with an in-person meeting or video chat.
- Be wary of someone who says they work out of the country with an overseas job or in the military. Many scammers say they are out of the country as an excuse to not video chat with you or meet you in person. Make sure you verify that it’s really them if they are out of the country and video chat with them.
- Video chat or meet in-person to make sure they are who they say they are. By meeting them in person or on a video chatting platform, you can then confirm that their face matches the photos being used for their dating profiles.
If you think you were a part of a romance scam, you can always rely on Social Catfish to help you! We can perform reverse searches on any name, username, phone number, email address, or image that you provide us.