Beware of Valentine's Day scams

  • 14/02/2018
Exhausted young man with laptop in office
Photo credit: Getty

Romantics are being warned against losing more than their heart during Valentine's Day.

Those looking for love should also be on the watch for scams on dating apps and other online sites, the Minister of Business, Innovation and Employment says.

MBIE consumer protection manager Mark Hollingsworth says online scams are prevalent on Valentine's Day and are not always obvious.

"Scammers use tactics like creating realistic online profiles, using fake photos and sharing information that appears genuine," he said.

"They will aim to gain trust, and then seek opportunities to ask for financial support."

Mr Hollingsworth said scams were becoming increasingly sophisticated and could build up over several months before there was a request for personal details or for money.

"It's often those that are above 45 years old, financially sound and looking for a relationship that are most likely to be targeted," he said.

"Having vigilance when online dating is key, especially if engaging with a person overseas."

In 2017, Netsafe reported that $1.4 million was lost to romance scams.

Mr Hollingsworth said this was likely to be a small percentage of total losses as many people either felt ashamed about being scammed, or weren't aware they had fallen victim.

NZN