Online dating fraud: Australian Woman accused of fleecing men of $2m

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Source: http://www.abc.net.au

Sydney: A woman has been charged with fraud after allegedly using dating websites to fleece older men of more than $2 million.

The 39-year-old is accused of targeting four different men in their 60s and 70s to get them to deposit money into her bank account.

She allegedly approached the men online between August 2013 and February this year, telling them she wanted a relationship.

Police allege the woman told several stories to convince the men to help her, including that she needed money to pay for medical care for a sick relative or funeral arrangements for a dead relative.

She also allegedly claimed she needed the money to pay back bank fees that would allow her to access funds being provided by an overseas family member.

One of the men paid the woman $1.9 million over the course of their relationship. The other three men paid her $190,000, $58,000, and $12,000.

The accused woman was arrested at Miller in south-west Sydney on Thursday after police searched two properties.

Three cars were seized while more than $1 million in cash and assets have been frozen.

The woman has been charged with four counts of fraud and one count of money laundering.

She has been granted conditional bail to appear in Liverpool Local Court on June 25.

Do not be embarrassed, victims told

The Fraud and Cybercrime Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis, says all cases of fraud should be reported to police.

“If you suspect you have been deceived and someone has defrauded you, please contact police immediately,” he said.

“Some people feel too embarrassed to report fraud matters to police or they think there’s no need to alert us because their financial institution will reimburse them for their losses.

“In fact, it’s very important that we are made aware of all fraud cases.

“That way, we can make the necessary inquiries and reduce the chances of the perpetrator defrauding others.”

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