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She contacted Dave (not his real name) on dating site Zoosk in November last year, telling him she was a 32-year-old Russian woman eager to pursue a serious relationship.Her emails from a Gmail account arrived every two days and at first were full of the little details of her life, like walking in the park with her friends and hanging out for pizza.Read about the stories romance scammers make up and learn the #1 tip for avoiding a romance scam.In 2018, people reported losing 3 million to romance scams—a higher total than for any other type of scam reported to the FTC.Despite his concerns, in February Dave went to his Mount Gambier bank branch to make a transfer of 0 to Aleksandra but he was stopped by a bank employee who told him bluntly she believed he was being scammed.When Dave's friends suggested 'Aleksandra' might even be a man, his mood changed abruptly. The Mount Gambier man shared the contents of the roughly 50 emails he received over three months conversing with 'Aleksandra' with ABC Local Radio, wanting to help prevent further victims.The same set of photos is often used under many names, or the same name can be used with different photos. 'Her' name was Aleksandra and 'she' was young and pretty with a long, dark mane of hair and dark brown eyes.
But instead of finding romance, many find a scammer trying to trick them into sending money.But Aleksandra repeated her requests that Dave transfer money to pay for her visa and half her airfare so she could travel to Australia and arrive at "the day when our dreams and desires become real".On Valentines Day this year, Dave was woken up just before 7am by a call from a private number.The Aleksandra on the phone was less loving, more forthright and after wishing him "happy Valentine's Day", she quizzed him: "you are going to send the money?"When he tried to call back, using the number she had emailed him, it was disconnected.