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On the surface dating websites appear to be the answer.Anyone can go online, set up a profile and start surfing the web for someone interesting.She has found that there are many misconceptions and stereotypes about who romance fraud victims and warns that anyone can fall victim to these schemes, regardless of their socioeconomic status.“Some of these victims are doctors, engineers, lawyers, business women, teachers and I think any one of us with the right kinds of persuasion, persuasive strategies utilized against us could be a victim,” she told W5 in an interview.In hindsight, Ellen says she doesn’t understand how she was conned into sending so much money. “I felt like my mind was really in a fog and it only stopped when a male relative phoned me at the bitter end and said this is a scam. “But that was months down the road when the funds were depleted.” Kim Polowek is a criminologist who teaches at the University of the Fraser Valley, in Abbotsford, British Columbia.Polowek is researching romance fraud and the schemes used by the perpetrators.“It was heart wrenching, it was absolute a pit in my stomach. Since 2010 Canadian victims have reported being ripped off for nearly -million.This is how the scheme works: perpetrators target those looking for love online.
After a failed marriage, the 48-year-old Ayr, Ontario resident was looking for her second chance at romance.
At first Marc Campbell declined Rosanna’s offer but eventually he relented, promising to repay the money she advanced. It wasn’t until weeks later that she found out that it was all a con – her money had vanished along with Marc Campbell.
“I was mortified.” Rosanna told W5’s Sandie Rinaldo. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, romance fraud is the number one scam in Canada in terms of dollars lost.
I still don’t know what I did to be so lucky to have you in my life.
I would love to meet you in person.” But before that could happen, Marc told Rosanna he had to take a business trip to Dubai.One of the techniques Polowek has identified is something she calls “love bombing” where victims are smothered with displays of affection, charm and flattery.