Sunshine Coast woman used in ‘extraordinary’ $6 million dating site scam

The man convinced her to open a separate bank account, into which the $6 million was diverted.

Senior Sergeant Edwards said upon realising something had gone wrong, the Korean company contacted banks in Korea and Australia and stopped $5.7 million from being transferred.

However, $330,000 could not be stopped and was sent to the Sunshine Coast woman’s account. The scammer told the woman to use the money to buy a $134,000 Toyota Landcruiser.

Police were still trying to trace the remaining $196,000 and the person behind the scam but had seized the Landcruiser.

Senior Sergeant Edwards said the scam was common, but the money involved was “extraordinary”.

“I’ve seen high amounts involved in scams before, but not like that,” he said.

“This is an example, again, of people not using common sense and basic intelligence, they are continually asked for funds and promised meetings with the other person, which never happen.

“Wake up and be realistic.”

Senior Sergeant Edwards said detectives were reviewing recordings the woman had of phone calls with the man from the dating site, who had a South African accent, despite claiming to be American.

“She says she’s in this dating site with a person and she has feelings for them,” he said.

“But from the background of the woman and her lifestyle, you would think that some common sense might have kicked in at some stage.

“In one email that I’ve seen from this scam, you can tell the person on the other end doesn’t have a basic grasp of the English language.”

Police said the scam also served as a warning to businesses across the country.

“If you get an email from a company you’re dealing with, saying they have changed bank accounts, that should ring alarm bells immediately,” Senior Sergeant Edwards said.

“You should call them or write a letter, some due diligence needs to come to mind.”

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