FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vancouver, BC – Every year Canadians lose millions to scammers. In some ways we are getting better at protecting ourselves and more aware of the common pitfalls…but not in one respect. Catphishing remains one of the most lucrative scam for thieves.
Catphishing is when an honest individual builds an online relationship with scammer through an Internet dating service or social media. However the ‘romantic’ relationship is not legit and the scammer is simply trying to get personal information or cold hard cash from their victim. It’s believed roughly 20% of online dating profiles are fake.
“According to numbers from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Catphishing eclipses everything else in terms of dollar value of reported scams across the country,” says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland BC. “Canadians lost over 15 million to catphishing in 2015, and that’s just what we know about. It’s likely the tip of the iceberg.”
Often these scammers will cook up a sob story once they have their hooks in you. In one instance alone in 2015 a Nanaimo woman was bilked over 125 thousand by a man she believed she was in a relationship with. He even sent her photos of him lying in a hospital bed following an alleged car crash. Police had to point out the botched Photoshop job on the pictures.
“These victims are not necessarily gullible,” adds Kelly. “They simply want to see the best in people and often these ‘relationships’ involve a good amount of time so they are very convincing. The losses are probably far greater than what is reported as many victims feel too ashamed to come forward.”
BBB offers these tips for spotting a fake profile on an online dating site:
Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor BBB Serving Mainland BC 604-488-8702 604-505-2307 firstname.lastname@example.org 404-788 Beatty Street Vancouver, BC V6B 2M1
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2014, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews, all available for free at bbb.org. BBB Serving Mainland B.C., founded in 1939 and serving the Lower Mainland, Thompson-Okanagan, Northern, Central and Southern Interior BC, and the Yukon, is one of 112 local, independent BBBs across North America. In 2014, consumers turned to BBB Serving Mainland B.C. more than 1.8 million times for Business Reviews and processed 7,500 complaints.