Stay safe online this Library Lovers’ Week  

A growing number of Australians are being lured into fake online romances every day.

These scams can deplete them of their funds and rob them of their identity.

Mackay Regional Council Libraries, in partnership with the Queensland Police Service, are offering free informative sessions that will protect and prevent unwanted online romances.

These “Is your romance real?” sessions will be held on Tuesday, February 11 from 11am to noon at Gordon White Library and Wednesday, February 12 from 5pm to 6pm at Mirani Library.

Cr Fran Mann said the Library team were exploring some very relevant topics during this years’ Library Lovers’ Week.

“Online dating and romance scams cheat Australians out of millions of dollars every year,” she said.

Sergeant Nigel Dalton said online romance scams were a very real threat that internet users needed to be aware of.

“People over the age of 55 are more likely to be scammed than any other age group, however, we encourage community members of all ages to come along to these sessions,” he said.

Safer Internet Day also falls on Tuesday, February 11.

This years’ theme is “Together for a better Internet”, which raises awareness about online safety and encourages everyone to help create a better internet.

The Queensland Police Service will provide information to help arm the community with the knowledge to become more aware and safer in today’s digital world.

Dating scams are becoming an increasing threat for Australians, for example:

  • in 2019, almost 4000 romance scams were reported, including 550 in Queensland
  • 35 per cent of these reported a financial loss
  • the total amount lost in 2019 was $28 million
  • social networking delivered the highest number of scams.