A South Dundas resident is out close to $45,000 after falling victim to a romance scam.

On Wednesday, the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry OPP received reports that a resident had been defrauded of the money via an online dating site. 

According to police, the fraudster claimed he needed a large sum of cash in Bitcoin to help him get a consignment box released by Puerto Rican authorities. 

Residents are reminded that criminals use the Romance Scam to find potential victims online, generally single or recently unattached people of all ages. 

This type of fraud usually occurs through singles and dating-related ‘meet’ websites, social media platforms, or e-mail blasts. 

In some cases, prolonged interaction has cost some victims tens of thousands of dollars before the ‘relationship’ suddenly ends, usually without ever meeting in person. 

The OPP says seniors are among the most vulnerable.

There are various tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of the Romance Scam.

If you just met someone online, and they declare their love for you after only a few letters and emails, you should report it to the police.

Don’t give out any personal information in an email or when you are chatting online. 

Never send money, or give personal credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust.

Check websites carefully, as scammers often set up fake websites with addresses that are very similar to legitimate dating websites.

If you or someone you know thinks they’ve been a victim of the romance scam, you should contact local police or submit a complaint to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.