The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre reports that in 2020 there were 899 reported cases of romance fraud in Canada. These cases resulted in more than $18.5 million in losses for victims. A common characteristic of these scammers is that they do not meet their victims face-to-face, preferring to communicate through video chat or other methods. They also tend to profess their love quickly and have few friends. When they do contact their victims, they will often lie about their intentions and continue to ask for money.
In a romantic scam, the perpetrator uses false romantic intentions to defraud people of their money. By using their own social media profiles and dating sites, they can gain their victims' trust and affection. Once they have a victim, they can steal cash, bank accounts, credit cards, and other assets. It is estimated that the dollar amount lost in romance fraud in Canada is more than $18.5 million. The victim may be reluctant to accept the role of a victim and will therefore continue to support their conman.
In addition to romance scams, there are a number of other scams that take place online. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, these online scams have increased significantly in recent years, as these scammers target people looking for love and companionship through social media. With Valentine's Day fast approaching, Canadians should be particularly wary of romance scams. In 2017, Canadians lost $18.5 million to romance scams.