A FRANKSTON woman has been duped into handing over several hundred thousand dollars to a man she never met in an online dating scam.
The lonely woman, 63, was contacted in December by a potential “friend” who said he was in Australia but was soon returning to Turkey.
The man said he was a civil engineer who was working on a project in that country and “needed funding to finalise the project” which he wasn’t able to provide himself.
“They continued with online conversations which were quite affectionate and made it sound like they were a couple and had been seeing each other,” Detective Sergeant Gary Richards, of Frankston CIU, said.
“The victim never spoke to the other person using any face image media, such as Skype.”
But he managed to convince the woman of his bona fides and persuaded her to deposit the money in into his bank account.
The woman never heard from the man again.
Frankston detectives have contacted Interpol but it seems unlikely the money will be recovered.
“Scams happen every day and sometimes they can be very sophisticated,” Detective Richards said.
“When it comes to sending money to anyone, and particularly to someone overseas, people should first contact local police for advice.
“In this case, the victim is humiliated and saddened because she thought she had a friend and now she realises she was duped.”