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International relationship scams

Beware of sending money overseas to a pen-friend or prospective marriage partner to visit Australia to further a relationship begun over the Internet

Several Australian citizens have been defrauded by bogus internet friendship, dating and marriage schemes purportedly operating mainly from Russia. These large-scale, well-organised scams typically result from connections made through internet dating schemes or chat rooms. Once a virtual relationship develops, the Australian citizen is asked by their friend or prospective marriage partner to send money to enable travel to Australia. Once the money has been received, the relationship is usually terminated and any chance of recovering the funds is highly unlikely.

The scammers often make use of what appear to be Australian Government email addresses to send fraudulent emails to the Australian party, informing them that the friend or prospective marriage partner has been granted a visa to visit Australia to further the relationship. The message may include fake details of a non-existent visa.

The Australian Government has notified the Government of Russia about its concern over this matter BUT there is little the Australian Government can do to assist citizens who fall victim to the individuals and agencies behind these schemes.

TO PROTECT YOURSELF

BEWARE

IF YOU HAVE BEEN A VICTIM OF A FINANCIAL SCAM

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