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Love is in the air... but always beware

13 February 2024

Westpac is urging Australians to be vigilant against a likely uptick in romance related scam activity this Valentine’s Day.

According to Westpac data, romance scams rose 55 per cent in 2023, ranking among the top three scam types causing financial losses, along with investment and business email compromise scams.

Westpac’s Head of Fraud, Ben Young, says fraudsters are becoming even more tech savvy in luring and exploiting unsuspecting customers.

“Scammers are using a variety of methods to create false web personas on dating and messaging apps, including deepfake technology,” said Mr Young.

“It can often be difficult for people to escape the clutches of these scammers because they may have developed strong feelings towards their deceiver.”

This type of scam has led to millions of dollars of financial losses for Australians.

“Romance fraudsters go to great measures to prey on their victims by professing intense feelings, also known as ‘love bombing’, and lulling everyday Australians into sending large amounts of money their way,” Mr Young added.

“Current data trends also show that romance scams more often impact older Australians, with those in the 61-75 age group making up the majority of victims.”

If at any point you feel any doubt about your financial safety or think you are at risk of being scammed, stop all contact with your scammer and call Westpac directly via the number on the back of your card. The sooner you get in touch, the better position we will be in to help you.



  • Be wary of ‘love bombing’. This is where online users declare their love for you in a relatively short period of time.
  • Check if someone is legitimate. Consider running a reverse image search if you meet someone new online to see if they might be using false photos.
  • Never send money or personal details. Especially to someone you have not met in person before.
  • If an investment offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

More information about the latest scams and how to avoid them is available at To report a scam or to seek assistance, customers can contact us on 132 032 or via the Westpac app.


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