(File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / DzhafarovEduard)(File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / DzhafarovEduard)

Malahide resident loses over $2M to romance scam

A four year romance scam has cost a Malahide resident more than $2-million.

Elgin OPP were called by the victim on May 7 who reported losing the money to a person they met on an online dating platform in April 2020. The pair developed an online relationship and never met in person.

After the relationship was established, the person asked for financial help to pay outstanding taxes on an out-of-country family inheritance. The Malahide resident agreed to assist and initially transferred money through prepaid gift cards and later through a series of wire transfers.

The money was sent over a four year period and totaled more than $2-million, police said.

Eventually, the resident realized it was a scam and called the police.

The investigation is ongoing.

The incident has prompted police to issue a few tips to the public on how they can protect against such scams.

Police advise not to give out personal information such as date of birth or home address, not to accept friend requests from people you don't know, not to invest money in platforms provided by strangers, and to be careful who you share personal images with.

"Education and vigilance are our strongest tools in fraud prevention. It's the only way to stop fraud before it happens," said Constable Brett Phair.

Fight fraud information sessions can be arranged to offer additional education for community groups through local OPP detachments.

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