Last year, romance scams cost Australians over $24 million, according to data released by ScamWatch on Monday.
In one particularly heartbreaking case that's come to light, a 69-year-old Victorian man was scammed out of AU$377,000 (NZ$396,000) after he joined a dating agency desperately looking for love, reports 7 News.
"These romance scammers deal in the art of lies and deception, cruelly misleading honest people searching for love and companionship" said Victoria's Consumer Affairs Minister Marlene Kairouz.
Scammers organised for the man to meet a woman they told him wanted to marry him.
They made multiple trips to the man's home state of Victoria, and got their victim to pay out large amounts of cash, telling him it was for the wedding, reports 7 News.
They also said the money would fund his phoney fiancée's legal battle, as she was trying to access overseas land and property owned by her dead ex-husband.
Experts advise money and bank details should be kept private if you haven't met someone in person.
People searching for love are advised to exercise caution, especially if someone refuses to be seen via video chat, or asks lots of questions about you but is vague about themselves.