For singles in the 21st century, finding love is already a challenge. Romance scams are making it even tougher.
Western Cape police apprehended two people in Khayelitsha and Parklands on Friday, July 22 for allegedly participating in a string of ‘romance scams’.
The Western Cape’s Commercial Crimes unit found that the two had tricked victims out of R930 000.
The suspects are expected to show up in court on Monday July 25th. That’s according to the police’s Joseph Swartbooi.
“The investigation led to the arrest of a 51-year old foreign national and a 28-year-old woman that we believe are behind a romance scam,” said Swartbooi. Electronic devices were seized during the investigation and will be examined in the future.
For over a decade, dating scams have been going on in Cape Town. In October 2021 alone, eight foreign nationals were arrested for their alleged involvement in internet scams, money laundering, and international financial fraud. Additionally, these individuals have also been linked to “romance scams” where women and men are swindled out of hard-earned cash.
It’s not uncommon for people to share their financial woes with others. In June of this year, at least three women from Pretoria shared their stories of how they lost thousands of dollars after a man convinced them to send him money and then disappeared without a trace.
Romance scams are a serious issue in countries all over the world, including the US. In fact, the FTC estimates that in 2021 there will be a loss of up to $547 million to romance scamming.