Over half of those looking for love online vulnerable to romance scams

Hiding behind the false personas of ‘Kevin Churchill’ and ‘Kevin Thompson’, they posed as wealthy businessmen with international lifestyles in order to target women. The scam – branded “cunning, cruel, and highly manipulative” – saw the five prey upon women on internet dating sites. The twisted quintet earned their trust and affection before they swindled each out of thousands of pounds. Hiding behind the false personas of ‘Kevin Churchill’ and ‘Kevin Thompson’, they posed as wealthy businessmen with international lifestyles in order to target women and persuade them of their genuine romantic interest. To keep up-to-date with crime in your community, join our dedicated Facebook group here. Romance fraud took place when the men started asking to borrow money from their unsuspecting victims, citing everything from help to pay for veterinary bills, to legal fees and travel costs.

The latest news on romance scams

Please do check regularly on the session map to see if there are virtual sessions being held for Friend or SCAMchampion training. Alternatively, please complete our online scams awareness session to become a Friend Against Scams. To download and distribute the above information please click here. An easy read version of this infographic is available, to download click here. Friends Against Scams is a National Trading Standards Scams Team initiative, which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering people to take a stand against scams.

One man tells of how he was tricked in a romance scam as banks warn for UK Finance suggested that 27% of those asked who used dating.

Scammers can be experienced in spinning stories to lure in their victims. However, there are some red flags that might help you spot them. These include the following:. Dating websites and apps can be useful tools for meeting someone new. Here are some things which may help you avoid being scammed:. This will help the sites to close down any fraudulent accounts. Romance fraud is typically carried out by criminals using fake profiles.

These include the following: They prefer to move communications away from dating websites. They may suggest that you move to instant messaging, text or phone calls instead They ask a lot personal questions about you They avoid answering personal questions about themselves. They may promise to see you, but either cancel every time or offer excuses which delay meeting up, like financial troubles You perform a reverse image search of their profile photo and it seems to belong to someone else How to protect yourself from being scammed Dating websites and apps can be useful tools for meeting someone new.

Try not to share personal details online with people whom you already know, either — you may end up sending it to a fraudster pretending to be them. This applies to cash as well as your bank account, credit card or other financial details. Use trusted dating websites Fraudsters tend to want to take their criminal activity off reputable dating websites as soon as possible.

Jersey Evening Post

While many legitimate websites help to bring people together every day, stories of online dating scams are a regular occurrence. Facebook scams: will they take complaints about fake adverts seriously? The majority of fraudulent cases involve someone setting up a fake identity using stolen photos and pretending to start a relationship with their victim.

Never share your financial details with someone you meet through an online dating website.

If you’re online dating, read these tips so you know how to spot a catfish. 6 signs someone might be a catfish. You’ve searched their name on the.

Quickly exit this site by pressing the Escape key Escape key not available with JavaScript disabled Leave this site. Romance Fraud is the engineering of a supposed friendship or relationship for fraudulent, financial gain. Fraudsters do not initially ask the victims for money; instead they spend time communicating with them online and building trust. By the time they ask for large sums of money, the reasons for requiring financial assistance have greater plausibility.

Typically, the longer the period between the date of first contact and the date of the first financial transfer, the higher the amount of money handed over. The financial losses are high and victims can often be in denial, making self-reporting low and repeat victimisation likely. Romance Fraud is one of the fastest growing crime types affecting the vulnerable, so much so that in Surrey all victims of Romance Fraud are treated as vulnerable by crime type. A 53 year old man fell victim to romance fraud after a divorce led him to use dating sites.

How to spot a scammer

If you live in Sussex, the chances of being duped into sending money to an online dating scammer were higher than the chances of being badly injured or killed in a crash. Fraudsters target paid dating websites to find more affluent people — salaries in Sussex outstrip most of the 42 other police force areas. In Durham, citizens are more likely to be a victim of lottery fraud than anywhere else in the country.

The most common scams used to deceive people and con them out of money. you to a fake website, which looks the same as the UK Government website. There is more advice about avoiding dating scams on the Get Safe Online website.

Catfishing is when someone sets up a fake online profile to trick people who are looking for love, usually to get money out of them. If you’re online dating, read these tips so you know how to spot a catfish. If you’ve been scammed out of your money by someone who wasn’t who they said they were, there is help and support available. Get support. One way to do this is to look them up on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or to search their name in a search engine.

Of course not everyone has social media, but if someone’s on a dating app or website, they’re more likely to have some other form of social media. Be wary of people you don’t know sending you messages through your social media accounts. They might be flirty to try and trick you, so it’s best to stick to meeting people online through dating websites. If you’ve been chatting away to someone for a while and everything seems great, but then they ask you for money, think about it for a while before you send them any.

Is it very early in your relationship? Is it appropriate for them to be asking someone they’ve only known for a short time and may never have met in real life for money? It’s common for catfish to ask you for money that appears to be for your benefit. For example, they want to come and visit you but they can’t afford the plane ticket, so they ask you for the plane fare.

How romance scammers break your heart – and your bank account

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Romance fraud is typically carried out by criminals using fake profiles. What are the signs you’re being scammed? Scammers can be experienced in spinning.

Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, apps or social media by pretending to be prospective companions. They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details. How this scam works Warning signs Protect yourself Have you been scammed? More information. Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact.

They have even been known to telephone their victims as a first introduction. They may use a fictional name, or falsely take on the identities of real, trusted people such as military personnel, aid workers or professionals working abroad.

Scam alert: romance fraud victims lose £50m

A failed relationship could give you a broken heart, but it shouldn’t leave you out of pocket. Scammers are drawn to dating sites because they know that the people on there are looking to make a personal connection, and they can use this to their advantage. The catfishing from the original documentary started on Facebook , but you can also be catfished on dating apps like Tinder, in chatrooms or even through fake video chats on Skype.

If you come across a fake profile you should report it to the dating site or social network wherever possible. Where catfishing can become illegal is if the scammer uses the fake profile to trick you into sending them money. This is fraud, and it is against the law.

Romance fraud is the engineering of a supposed friendship or relationship for repeatedly-used phrases and the term ‘dating scam’ into your search engine.

Around 7. But just as dating app users are at an all-time high, so is the number of people becoming victims of online dating fraud. Con artists are increasingly creating fake online profiles and tricking people on dating sites into handing over often large sums of money. One of the most common techniques is to build up trust with the person by messaging for weeks or even months before suddenly having an emergency – the fake person being mugged but their daughter needing urgent surgery, for example – and asking for money.

But then they suddenly need money for rent too, then food, then medical fees, and it can quickly escalate. Serious fraudsters sometimes even create further fake profiles and use them to be rude to you, all to make the main fake profile seem more desirable. Scamalytics , a company which runs anti-scammer software for a number of the major dating sites, are trying to reduce online dating fraud by creating profiles of the average male and female con artist. The male profile is in his late 40s 48 is the most common age with a high income.

What is a romance scam?