Over one million Dutch have been the victim of internet fraud over the past two years, leading to a total loss of €5bn, according to research by the national fraud help desk.
Many of the victims do not report that they have been conned out of money because they are ashamed or because they have little confidence in the police, the organisation says.
The fraud help desk questioned 1,000 people over the age of 18, of whom 9% said they had been conned recently on internet. In 70% of cases they lost a maximum of €500, but 12% said they had lost between €1,000 and €10,000. In 3% of cases the loss was over €20,000.
The larger amounts of money were often lost through dating sites, where ‘mates’ said they needed money for air tickets or for hospital treatment, the organisation says.
Under half of those questioned had reported the fraud. ‘With large amounts, people are ashamed to admit they have been conned,’ a spokesman told Trouw. ‘With smaller amounts, people do not think it is worth reporting because the police are more interested in things such as handing out traffic fines.’
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