What is a romance scam?
A dating or romance scam is where scammers gain your trust by pretending to have strong feelings for you and then asking you for money, your personal details or to transport money or goods for them.
What they're after
Romance and dating scammers are generally after your money, however they may also be after your personal information for identity theft or to unwittingly carry out illegal activities such as money laundering.
Signs this may be a scam
They try and move the conversation immediately to another messaging platform like WhatsApp.
Be wary. Consider the possibility this may be a scam.
They ask you for money, access to your banking or your personal details to help them out.
Do not pay money or give personal details to someone you have not met in person. Avoid emotions in financial decisions.
They ask you to transfer money or deliver goods or packages.
Do not do this. They may be asking you to carry out illegal activities like money laundering or transporting illegal goods.
Who should I contact and examples of scams
- Please report scams or suspicious activity immediately to Westpac at 132 032 or 61 2 9155 7700 (if calling from overseas).
- Forward suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org or sms/text messages to 0497 132 032 then delete the email or message.
- Report all suspicious activity to the Australian Cyber Security Centre at cyber.gov.au/report.
- Contact IDCARE toll-free on 1800 595 160 or visit their website idcare.org. They provide free, confidential support and guidance to people who have been targeted by fraud, scams, identity theft or compromise.
- Keep up to date on scams by subscribing to the government's scam email alerts from scamwatch.gov.au/subscribe.
- Check out our latest scams, for copies of recently reported scams at westpac.com.au/scams.
Things you should know
* Examples are based on one or more real scam reports received by Westpac. For privacy purposes real names have not been used.