Con artists scamming millions from lonely hearts online

MILLIONS of dollars are being scammed from Australians each year through online romance cons.

The Tainted Love symposium in Brisbane today will explore how to better support and compensate victims of romance fraud.

Queensland University of Technology justice lecturer Dr Cassandra Cross said the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission had revealed about $229 million was lost in scams last year.

"Investment scams and dating and romance scams resulted in the largest financial losses, especially in the over-55 age group. Yet these figures are unlikely to represent the true extent of the harm incurred by romance fraud as there are traditionally low levels of reporting for this," she said.

"Many victims suffer in silence and are unable to disclose their situation to those around them, often because of the associated shame and stigma of this crime type."

Dr Cross said people seeking romance online were an easy target.