A Kiwi woman says she's "f**ked off" and "beyond angry" after she was extorted out of nearly half a million dollars by a so-called "Tinder swindler".
The woman spoke out about her experience in Newshub's latest documentary Patrick Gower: On Cyber Crime which aired on Three and ThreeNow on Tuesday.
Emily* was conned out of nearly $422,000 by someone posing as a Christchurch-based expat German called Pete.
Emily matched with Pete on the dating app Tinder. Their conversations quickly moved to Whatsapp, where Pete took an unusually keen interest in how much money Emily earns.
Pete went about talking Emily into online investing and she went on to pay large amounts of money she thought was for genuine purposes.
Emily told Gower she trusted Pete and her first transfer was $100,000. From there, the situation escalated.
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"Literally, in eight days, I emptied out my floating mortgage - $421,000," she said.
Unfortunately, the lending bank didn't stop the transactions.
"They've turned around and said, 'That's not our responsibility, you could've used your mortgage for anything - we just gave it to you,'" Emily said. "Who empties out a mortgage in eight days and no questions asked?"
But Emily said she takes responsibility for the fact she was "doing the clicking".
"I look back on it and I think, 'God, what happened to my logic?' But it just angers me that no one's fighting these people - they just grow bigger and essentially stronger because we fund them.
"I'm f**ked off - beyond angry."
She said she wanted to remain anonymous when speaking to Gower because she felt "a lot of shame".
Since falling victim to the scam, an emotional Emily said she'd been putting on a brave face.
"At work - you sort of show up with a face on pretending everything is normal when it's not - you just get really overwhelmed.
"Thank god I've got long hair and I face a corner so when you cry, no one really knows."
Last year, New Zealanders lost a combined $12 million in online fraud and scams - and that's just what's reported.
Watch the full Patrick Gower: On Cyber Crime documentary on ThreeNow.