Dating site warning follows spike in victims

WOMEN seeking love online are warned to be wary of fraudulent Casanovas who prey on their vulnerability

Brighton Beach police station in durban has received numerous reports of women who have become victims of fraudsters or syndicates operating on dating sites. As friendships grow between the men and their victim, they start requesting money for data bundle purchases, then mobile airtime purchases. Pictures are often exchanged, which predominantly represent white men in their 30 said Brighton communications officer, Captain Louise Le Roux.

There is no specific, age, race or marital status that is targeted by these con artists; they prey on the any vulnerability of women seeking companionship. Explicit pictures are often exchanged, which the fraudsters sell to other websites.

Once the fraudsters have gained the womens trust, Le Roux said they often relate a tale of personal hardship, such as ill health, or the ill health of a family member, or a car in need of repair, asking their victim to deposit money in a bank account to help them with the problem.

Cpt Le Roux urges women to read the terms and conditions stipulated on dating sites as these cases are often a civil matter, not criminal matter.

Women should also not forget that this stranger who has become their new friend could be a sexual predator, and divulging information such as your place of employment or even your residential address exposes you to the dangers of sexual assault, said Cpt Le Roux.