The consumer watchdog is joining forces with government anti-money laundering agents to crack down on internet dating scams. The Australian transactions reports and analysis centre will alert the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) when suspicious cross-border money movements suggest somebody is being scammed.
The ACCC will then write to suspected victims with warnings to stop sending money, and in future might follow up with phone calls. Dating scams are the most costly in existence, often targeting the lonely and the elderly.
This year the ACCC has found 43 people who have lost more than $100,000 each. In some cases, victims have sent more than $1m overseas over several years, said ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard.