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Overseas “friends”

Please be very careful if approaches are made to you to pay money to people you have not met from overseas. There has been publicity about people losing their money but you never think it will happen to you.  Mullane & Lindsay have had first- hand experience of one lady who has been the victim of a scam. She was asked to send money via Western Union to a person who offered her love and friendship.  She transferred significant savings overseas before realising that the person was not real.  Once the monies have been transferred it is highly unlikely that any money can be recovered.  “Scamwatch” sets out the pattern of behaviour to be on guard about.  The scammers typically create a fake online profile using a fictional name and fake real trusted people such as military personnel, aid workers or professionals working abroad.  They will express strong emotions for you in a relatively short period of time and will shower you with loving words, sharing ‘personal information’ and even sending you gifts. They may take months to build what may feel like the romance of a lifetime. Once they have gained your trust and your defences are down, they will ask you for money often on the pretence that they are in some sort of trouble and urgently need funds. Scamwatch advise that emotional help and support is available with Lifeline.

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