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It looks like Canberrans are suckers for love and it’s costing us hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Around the country last year, victims reported losing over $9.5 million to social media scams – almost three times more than in 2015.

Dating and romance scams account for a big chunk, costing Aussies over $7.5 million.

And it seems Canberrans have fallen victim too many times, with new data from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission showing Canberrans lost $886,292 through dating and romance scams in 2016.

Eleven Canberrans reported losing more than $10,000 through this type of scam.

Minister for Consumer Affairs Shane Rattenbury said if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

“While it may sound like common sense, often on social media we are so used to sharing information about ourselves that we tend to let our guard down a bit,” he said.

“I’d like to remind the community to be vigilant when it comes to online scams, including those on social media.”

Overall, Canberrans lost close to $2.2 million across 26 different types of scams, including investment schemes, hacking, buying and selling, classified scams and unexpected prize money and lottery.

To stay safe online, we’re being urged to follow these tips:

- Check the profile of new friend requests, especially if you’ve only met the person online

- Be cautious when sharing personal pictures or videos

- Do an image search to help determine if someone is who they say they are

- Report profiles you suspect to be scams to the social media platform

- Review your social media privacy and security settings

- Check reviews before buying online

For more information, visit the Scamwatch website.

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