South African catfish scammers made R134-million in a year!

South African catfish scammers made R134-million in a year!

There might be a lot of fish in the sea but not all of them are a catch.

catfish scammer in South Africa more than R134-million

Have you ever looked at someone's online dating profile and thought, "This person is too good to be true"?

READ: WATCH: Man finds out girlfriend of 8 months is catfish through dramatic reveal

Not to be those pessimistic, people, but sometimes it just is.

It's good to remain positive in the internet dating world but with so many virtual love horror stories it's hard not to become a bit skeptical as time goes on.

READ: "I disrespected the love of my life by talking about our relationship to a colleague"

One needs to have a good balance between naivety and optimism.

Also, have you watched an episode of 'Catfish: The TV Show'? It's scarier than half of the horror movies we've seen and more suspenseful than all of Liam Neeson's movies put together. A truly terrifying combination.

READ: "I give my guests the cheap coffee and I drink the fancy coffee" - KZN listener

Just watch this trailer for one of their MANY seasons:

READ: WATCH: Controversial new film shows Meghan Markle dying in a car crash

But like many things in this world, catfish scammers do not discriminate and they don't worry about crossing borders.

This means that while we like to think of these major scams are only taking place in England or America, it is very much a reality in our own backyard.

READ: Katlego Maboe demands R4million in damages for "psychological damage"

The number of online scammers and catfish who create these profiles to attract and defraud people has also increased in the last year. Seeing as most people are working from home, they might be more lonely and more likely to interact with strangers on the internet.

Any real estimate of how many people are victims of these types of romance scams is likely even higher because people are too embarrassed to report the crime to authorities.

READ: "My in-laws haven’t shown me respect in 20 years and my husband won't defend me"

Although seeking human interaction and love shouldn't be something you should be embarrassed about no matter what the outcome of the situation was.

Unfortunately, we might get too swept up in the moment, fall in love, and want to prove it in some way, making these types of victims prize targets for these scammers looking to make a quick buck. 

READ: KZN beach ranks amongst top spots in the world for skinny dipping is a website that reviews online security and they recently released a terrifying report on the cost of catfishing scams.

The site estimates that these dating scams have cost victims around the world around R3.1-billion in the last year.

Here is a ranking of the top 20 countries with the highest reported catfish scams, with South Africa coming in at number 18:

catfish scammer in South Africa more than R134-million

READ: SEE: Somizi returns to social media by posing with R15,000 gifted rose bouquet

South Africa had around 190 cases of reported catfish scams in the past year and the total amount it cost the victims was R134-million.

The saddest part is that although SA only accounts for 2% of the world's reported catfish cases, the victims are defrauded out of a higher amount compared to other countries.

READ: WATCH: New Nando's ad leaves SA in stitches #Tembisa10

South African victims are scammed out of an average of R701,000 - which is three times the global average!

catfish scammer in South Africa more than R134-million

So let this be a tiny warning to all the lovebirds out there.

If your virtual date wants some cash money dollars, meet them first.

Stacey and J Sbu podcasts
East Coast Radio

Main image courtesy of iStock

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