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“Dating sites are not a bad thing -- it’s a very good way to meet someone,” Jessica Gunson, the CAFC’s acting call centre and intake unit manager, told

“But what (you) need to know is that there are dangers that lie within there.” The CAFC says a romance scam occurs when “any individual with false romantic intentions” attempts to gain another’s “trust and affection for the purpose of obtaining the victim’s money or access to their bank accounts or credit cards.” Most romance scams, they say, begin on social media or online dating sites -- which is exactly what happened to the Ottawa woman that interviewed for this story.

“But if I can save people anything -- any money or heartbreak or whatever -- then by all means I would rather help somebody.” Boyer has also since found love too. “Keep trying, but I would say, stay local and don’t send money.” ‘MOST MASS MARKETING FRAUD GOES UNREPORTED’ If you believe you have been the victim of romance fraud, the RCMP and CAFC urge you to stop all contact with your alleged scammer, contact your financial institution to halt any outstanding payments, report the situation to your local police with as much information as possible and also file a report with the CAFC through their confidential online reporting system or by calling 1-888-495-8501.

Earlier in February, she even celebrated her seventh wedding anniversary with an Ottawa-area man who she also met online. “Most mass marketing fraud goes unreported and we need to change that,” Sgt. “Information you provide may alert us of a new trend or be the missing piece needed to disrupt a criminal activity.” For more on romance scams and how to avoid them, visit the CAFC and RCMP’s romance scam information pages.

The person seems overly eager to meet you until something happens…(and) they suggest they need money from you.” ‘A HUGE EMOTIONAL IMPACT’ That .5-million figure represents the losses of just 760 victims in 2018, meaning that on average, victims were out nearly a staggering ,000 each.“We know that there are many more victims that have sent money but have not reported it,” Gunson said.The chief warning signs, Gunson explains, are if: Also be sure to never send intimate photos or personal or financial information to someone you don’t really know, Gunson says.“Just be aware,” Gunson, who actually met her husband online, added.

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