A woman has fallen for an online scam - twice - losing almost half a million dollars, police say.
The woman was scammed once, and then got scammed again when she had been told she was the victim of a scam.
The victim, a 48-year-old from Adelaide’s southern suburbs, began communicating with a man she met online in late 2011.
Over the next year, she forked out and sent him about $80,000.
Then in late 2012, she was contacted by someone claiming to be a lawyer, who advised her she had been the victim of an online dating scam, and he could help her recover the lost money.
Over the next few weeks, the woman gave this supposed ‘lawyer’, more than $400,000.
Police believe the scammers responsible are likely to be based overseas, possibly in Nigeria, and that victims of these scams have very little prospect of recouping any of their money.
They have urged people to treat all unsolicited offers with caution, and that if anyone believes they have fallen for a scam, to cease contact immediately.
Detective Inspector Greg Hutchins, from South Australia Police’s Financial Investigations Section, says police are dealing with victims of scams on a daily basis, and the amount of money lost is heartbreaking for victims.
"We've recently dealt with a victim who has lost just under half a million dollars over a two year period as a result of a dating scam,” Det Insp Hutchins said.
Police also warn that it is not unusual for scammers to pass on the details of victims, who are then contacted by other scammers, who claim they can recover losses if they are paid fees, charges or taxes.
They have issued this advice: “Don't part with your money easily. Stop and question why you need to send money and then stop and think again.”