I was reading earlier, ahead of Valentine’s Day on Thursday, about recent scam data published by Action Fraud – the 4,555 instances of ‘romance fraud’ reported to the police reporting centre in 2018.
Some £50m was lost in such scams last year as fraudsters pretended to be romantically attached to their victims, says the piece. “Fraudsters trick victims into sending money or gather enough personal information to steal their identities,” it goes on to explain. “Police say victims are targeted via online dating websites, apps, or through social media. Fraudsters use fake profiles to form a relationship with them.”
The average age of a romance fraud victim is 50 and 63% of victims are women, according to Action Fraud, adding they lose twice as much on average as males. Dating site users are now being urged not to take everything at face value, says the BBC, noting: “Many people who have been caught out have judged those they met online based on their social media profile, their job, or simply trusting them too soon.”