Finding love in the 21st century is already not an easy feat; now add romance scams to the list of complications.
Western Cape police apprehended two people in Khayelitsha and Parklands on Friday 22 July for their alleged involvement in a string of ‘romance scams’, as per EWN.
The Western Cape Commercial Crimes and Cyber Investigation unit found that the two had cheated victims out of R930 000.
#sapsWC Two suspects were arrested for their involvement in a romance scam by #SAPS Provincial Commercial Crimes Cyber Investigation unit on Friday, 22 July 2022 in Khayelitsha and Parklands. An estimated R930 000 were taken from victims. NP https://t.co/f8b1GAuBuH pic.twitter.com/SDwEDfCXzO
— SA Police Service 🇿🇦 (@SAPoliceService) July 23, 2022
The suspects are expected to appear in the Atlantis Magistrate Court on Monday 25 July for the first time, according to the police’s Joseph Swartbooi.
“The investigation led to the arrest of a 51-year old foreign national male and a 28-year-old woman who we believe are directly involved in a romance scheme – receiving money from their victims on charges of fraud, theft and contravention of the prevention of organised crime. Electronic devices that were found on the premises were seized,” said Swartbooi.
This is not the first time Cape Town has been the base for online dating scams. In October 2021, eight people were arrested in Cape Town for their alleged involvement in internet scams, money laundering and international financial fraud. The foreign nationals were also linked to “romance scams” in which numerous women have been swindled out of their hard-earned cash.
In June this year, at least three women from Pretoria came forward to share how they’ve lost thousands to a man who convinced them to send him money before disappearing into thin air, as reported by W24.
These “romance scams” are also rife in other countries, with USA being no exception. According to the Federal Trade Commission, 2021 saw a record-breaking loss of $547 million to romance scams, more than any other FTC fraud category.