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SCARS™ SCAM NEWS: Perth Australia Woman Loses $500,000 In Online Dating Scam
A Perth woman has lost close to half a million dollars in a romance scam where she gave her money to a man she met on an online dating site who used images of an Italian opera singer as his profile photos.
Michelle, not her real name, was one of the 86 Western Australians who reported a loss of a combined $1.81 million last month in an alarming start to the year for scamming.
Late last year she met a man through a website who called himself Malcolm Jedinak and claimed to be an interior designer from Forrestfield.
“We got chatting and then instead of chatting on RSVP we exchanged numbers and chatted on the phone and became very goods friends and he told me he was Swedish and he was an interior designer and he was going to Dubai to do this refurbishment and had to leave earlier than planned,” Michelle said.
The scammer, who spoke to Michelle about three times a day while “overseas”, convinced her to loan him $30,000 after he left his credit cards, camera and other equipment at home in a rush to the airport.
“We still spoke a few times each day, and the job was going really well and he hired local labour he told me and could I loan him some money and I thought, oh my god don’t be stupid of course not,” she said.
“He said I promise I would repay you, so I can’t believe I did it.”
“Malcolm” then managed to get a further $65,000 from her to help cover equipment hire and labour on the project he purported to be working on.
Michelle said he told her how he was stopped by immigration and detained on his way back to Australia and needed $372,000 from her to help pay tax on the money he had earned there.
Eventually it was advice from Michelle’s bank that she had been scammed when the curtain fell.
She reported it to the authorities and it is has since been revealed the images “Malcolm” sent of himself were of an Italian singer.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said there were fraudsters who were professionals at persuading people to part with their money.
“As soon as someone you have met online starts asking for money, we urge you to cease contact immediately, no matter what evidence in the form of documents or photos they might send you to make you believe their stories,” he said.
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TAGS: Australia, Aussie Victim, Perth, Australian Scam Victim, Romance Scammers, Romance Scams, Love Scam, Dating Scam, False Identity, Fake Profile, Fake Soldier, Impersonation, African Scam, Ghana Scammer, Nigerian Scammer, Scammer Gallery, Fake Faces, Fake Men,
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FAQ: How Do You Properly Report Scammers?
It is essential that law enforcement knows about scams & scammers, even though there is nothing (in most cases) that they can do.
Always report scams involving money lost or where you received money to:
- Local Police – ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance
- Your National Police or FBI (www.IC3.gov)
- The Scars Worldwide Reporting Network HERE or on www.Anyscam.com
This helps your government understand the problem, and allows law enforcement to add scammers on watch lists worldwide.
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