Queensland man looking for love swindled out of nearly $300k
A Queensland man has been swindled out of hundreds of thousands of dollars after he was targeted in a sophisticated romance scam.
Paul Reed's ordeal started with an innocent request to his LinkedIn and soon he found himself out of nearly $300,000.
"It sort of grew into a friendship and then it started getting a bit heavier," Reed said.
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"They get you when you're vulnerable.
"And when they find out what you've got, they'll try and take everything, every single dollar."
The woman eventually claimed she needed help accessing her locked multi-million dollar bank account.
"I had a bad feeling pretty much straight away," Reed said.
Fake receipts, phone and video calls with the woman and a pretend bank employee reassured him, all while the thieves were using his bank account to launder money.
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The bubble eventually burst when Australian police knocked on his door under the suspicion he was a money mule.
"He was under the impression that the female he had been talking with on LinkedIn was in fact real and it wasn't until he was actually shown pictures of the potential suspects based in Nigeria, his world came crashing down," Ian Wells from Queensland Police said.
"It's very hard to talk about because I am ashamed," Reed said.
Cyber crime detectives have heard this 'love' story before.
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Data from the ACCC shows romance scams swindled Australians out of $210 million last year.
"Please do not transfer any amount of money, especially if you have just met them online," Wells said.
Paul has shared his story in the hope that lonely hearts don't end up broken and broke.
"If you're looking for love try and find it the old fashioned way," Reed said.
"It's a killer, it really is."
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