Don’t let scammers break your heart

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Valentine’s Day is coming up but it’s not just love in the air.

A word of caution from ANZ Bank: scammers are looking for opportunities to break your heart as romance and dating scams become more common.

“In a romance scam, cyber criminals will try to build relationships online to gain trust and exploit that trust for money,” ANZ regional executive Pacific Sarah Stubbings said.

“This usually starts in the form of an unexpected message or friend request on social media or via a dating app.”

Ms Stubbings said scammers work hard to build trust and it may be some time before they reveal who they really are.

“Regardless of your age or background, anyone can fall victim to these sophisticated scams, so it’s important not to feel embarrassed and to contact ANZ immediately if you think you’ve been scammed.

“The more aware our customers are of potential scams, the better placed they’ll be to spot the red flags to protect themselves and their loved ones,” Ms Stubbings said.

To help support and protect its customers this Valentine’s Day, ANZ has put together some tips to help customers protect their hearts against scams:

Roses are red, so are red flags

Scammers can provide endless excuses for not showing themselves on camera or meeting in person. They will also be keen to keep relationships private and will perhaps suggest moving conversations off the dating site or social platform to an alternative private messenger.

Keep your heart close, and your wallet closer

Money is the goal of romance scammers. Once they have gained trust, they are likely to ask for money. This can be done in a direct way or more subtly, such as asking for money to visit their victim.

Sharing isn’t always caring

Be conscious of sharing personal information. Never share passwords, one-time codes, card numbers or PIN codes with a potential partner. Additionally, never allow anyone remote access to your devices and systems. If it is meant to be, they should never be concerned about the funds in your bank account.

Trust your gut, not your heart

Does everything they say match up? Keep an eye out for any discrepancies in conversation and with the information listed about them online. It can be easy to ignore red flags over the Valentine’s season, but always keep in mind the relationship may be too good to be true.