October 23, 2022

PROFESSIONAL crime gangs are targeting people using dating sites in Ireland for investment fraud, the Irish Sun can reveal.

And a special investigation by us into online scams today outlines how a staggering €7.8m has been stolen in the first seven months of 2021.

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Giuseppe Diviccaro, 45, was caged for five years, with 18 months suspended after he opened seven bank accounts here and laundered €200,019
Dragos Cirstea, 35

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Dragos Cirstea, 35

This is compared to the €4.2m stolen in 2020 and €2.2m in 2019.

The scam works by the schemers engaging with people on dating sites, building up relationships and encouraging them to invest in crypto currency projects.

Many victims are also targeted by responding to ‘pop-up ads’ on social media platforms the criminals have created.

The dating sites are just one of a number of ways the fraudsters target innocent people – with the main method being cloned investment sites.

And we can also reveal how in the first ten months of 2021, the total sum stolen in all frauds is a staggering €55m – compared to €45m for the same period in 2021.

And they have also used fake quotes from celebrities and business people pretending to endorse the investment.

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The average age of those targeted is 52 – with 40 per cent of victims female and 60 per cent male.

Those behind the investment fraud scams – which has increased by 55 per cent this year – are major targets for the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau.

In an interview with the…

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