The $16 million a year sent to phony "suitors" in Nigeria and Ghana by vulnerable Queenslanders represents a fifth of all the money extorted from Australian romance scam victims, a state cyber crime fighter has claimed.
This law enforcement official believes that the problem is so bad that the cash remittance industry itself should intervene to address the problem:
"Seventy per cent of all the money going to Nigeria is romance-fraud related and we're talking millions of dollars."
That is a staggering figure. At the risk of sounding unsympathetic, it makes you wonder how so many people could be so gullible, particularly since there has been so much media coverage of this criminal practice.
I suppose it just goes to show just how vulnerable people can be when they are lonely and looking for love.