5 live investigates online dating

Rosanna joined the dating website ‘Match.com’ and met a man who called himself Marc Campbell.He said he was a widower and seemed nice and caring. Marc Campbell seemed the gentleman and possible soul mate she could spend her life with – and it appeared to be mutual.Although they never met in person, Rosanna and Marc e-mailed and spoke on the phone for months.

When Rosanna Leeman went online she hoped that the Internet would help her find love and a new partner.

After a failed marriage, the 48-year-old Ayr, Ontario resident was looking for her second chance at romance.

At first Marc Campbell declined Rosanna’s offer but eventually he relented, promising to repay the money she advanced. It wasn’t until weeks later that she found out that it was all a con – her money had vanished along with Marc Campbell.

“I was mortified.” Rosanna told W5’s Sandie Rinaldo. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, romance fraud is the number one scam in Canada in terms of dollars lost.

“I’ve gone through your profile so many times,” he wrote.

“You sound exactly like a woman I would love to get along with.You can flirt without the awkwardness of seeing someone face to face and if there is no love spark, you can hit delete and carry on. Many of us know couples who met online and went on to have meaningful relationship.But a joint W5- investigation found a sinister online world where crooks and conmen lurk, pretending to be lonely hearts but in reality are seeking to empty bank accounts, and quickly move on – jilting their victims.It’s a lesson Rosanna and Ellen learned the hard way.“It’s easy to fall into the trap it really is” said Rosanna.She has the unfortunate distinction of reporting to the Anti-Fraud Centre the largest amount of money lost to a romance scam in Canada.