In polite company I don't often admit it but I don't actually spend much time in front of the TV.
Yes, I like my technology and the TV qualifies as technology.
Yes I have a TV big enough to see individual hair follicles on the face of each actor. Yes, despite not watching much TV, I have access to all the popular streaming services.
You see the problem is we are yet to create the one piece of technology that I would require to allow me to watch more TV.
Hermione Granger had just what I needed. You may remember that Professor McGonagall gave Hermione a "time-turner" to allow her to attend more classes in her third year at Hogwarts. That is the type of technology I need to allow me to watch more TV, although if I could travel through time, I would hopefully use the power for more noble causes then catching up on some streaming shows.
There is one show I did find time for though and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to gain a small insight in to the world of romance scams.
In 2021, there were 3400 reported romance scams in this country with Australians losing $56 million in the process.
Scamwatch estimates that the real figure was much higher as their estimation is that only 13 per cent of scams are reported, although I admit that I have no idea how they calculate what was unreported because, you know, it was unreported.
Assuming that 13 per cent is accurate, that is a whopping $430 million in losses associated with romance scams. In one year. In Australia.
Everyone I talk to is convinced that they would never fall for such a scam. They think it would be easy to spot a scammer or there would be immediate giveaways.
The problem is that these scammers are professionals.
Everyone I talk to is convinced that they would never fall for such a scam. They think it would be easy to spot a scammer or there would be immediate giveaways. The problem is that these scammers are professionals.
Think of some great sports people you have watched. Their opponents say that they know exactly what they are going to do against them, but they are so good that they do it anyway.
When people use a dating site, they know that some profiles are fake. They know that some people are telling lies. They know there are scammers out there. Despite all of this, the best of the scammers still manage to scam people anyway.
Which is why I recommend watching the Netflix hit "Tinder Swindler" to gain an appreciation of just how good scammers are at their manipulation.
It follows the story of three intelligent and sophisticated women, not particularly wealthy, who were swindled out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. It seems incredible and unbelievable but, before his arrest, it was estimated that this one particular person managed to con over $10 million from women in dating scams.
As I said, these people are professionals. Their day job is to con people out of their money. So what can you do about it? Stop using dating apps? I may as well say stop the tide from rising. It isn't going to happen.
All you can do is look for the red flags and follow your instincts. Also listen to your friends. Your friends may be able to view a situation more objectively because their heart is not being tugged at.
As much as we would like to think legislation will catch up with scammers, they are adept at moving from country to country with different identities and authorities are fighting a losing battle.
Our best hope is that we stop being scammed and they eventually turn their obvious talents to honest pursuits.
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