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St. Albert resident loses $7,500 in online dating scam

There are many relationship scams circulating in Canada, RCMP have warned.

St. Albert RCMP are warning people to be cautious with online dating interactions after a local resident lost $7,500 in a scam through a Facebook dating app in June. 

RCMP said in a release July 8 the resident communicated with a man on a Facebook app called Telegram. The man said he was a doctor in the military on an overseas mission. 

After six months of communication, the pair redefined the friendship as an online romantic relationship. In early June, the man said he needed money to purchase a piano for his son as a birthday present. According to the man, his son resided in the United States while he was stationed overseas. 

The St. Albert resident sent $7,500 US by wire transfer to a bank account in the United States believing it was for the birthday present. The person then realized it was a scam and the money was lost. 

There are many relationship scams circulating in Canada, RCMP have warned, adding there are several ways people using online dating services can spot a scam, which include: calls from unfamiliar area codes or numbers; emails from unknown senders or addresses; online or over-the-phone requests for immediate payments, money transfers, e-transfers, or gift cards; requests for financial or personal information by text or email; pre-recorded phone messages or voice mails from banks or government agencies; cheques dealing with unknown parties; or the use of cryptocurrencies. 

Victims of fraud or those who would like more information on fraudulent schemes in Canada can visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at