OPP And CAFC Raise Awareness Of Romance Scams Ahead Of Valentine’s Day


The following bulletin was prepared by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) for the awareness of community members and supported by the OPP and members of the Southern Georgian Bay OPP Detachment to inform and educate Canadians of ongoing scams. This bulletin was created to warn the public about “Romance Scam” with Valentine’s Day fast approaching.

Every year around Valentine’s Day, fraudsters are on the look-out for unsuspecting victims. In some cases, victims may be contacted on dating websites or social media and then asked to switch to a different method of communication. It is common for suspects to use pictures found on social media of real people (ie. business people, members of the military, family photos), pet photos and hobbies. Scammers will often edit these pictures based on the lies they have told.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) continues to receive a large number of reports from individuals that have fallen victim to various types of romance scams including (but not limited to) scams that begin on dating websites and trick victims into investing in fake cryptocurrency platforms, with the promise of large monetary returns.

New variation:

Fraudsters are sending random text messages to victims. The messages often read “where are you?”, “where have you been?” or something similar. Once the victim responds, a conversation is started and the fraudster attempts to build a relationship with the victim. Some of the reports received include the fraudster convincing the victim to invest into a fraudulent cryptocurrency platform.

Scammers have requested money for many reasons, including:

• a personal/family emergency,

• claims they have no access to their existing funds,

• unexpected business expenses, legal expenses or professional fees,

• investing in a new business and they need the victims’ help, and

• travel fees to return home.

Warning signs

Beware of:

• profiles that seem too perfect,

• someone you haven’t met in person professes their love to you,

• a suspect that tries to move communication to a more private or different method of communication (email, text, social media platform, etc.),

• any attempts to meet in person get cancelled or there’s always an excuse to not meet-up,

Anyone who suspects they have been the victim of cybercrime or fraud should report it to their local police and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s online reporting system or by phone at 1-888-495-8501. If not a victim, report it to the CAFC anyway at Report fraud and cybercrime (antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca)


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