Online dating or relationship scams
A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigning romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud. Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victim’s money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers ; or forcing the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf.
Number of cases rose from to in only two years.
There could be scammers with fake profiles on dating websites and apps who may may also be looking to gain your trust and steal In , online daters lost over £50m in romance scams* first direct is a division of HSBC UK Bank plc.
It’s important to keep you and your family safe from scams. If you know what to look out for then you can protect yourself and your loved ones from fraud. You can meet new people on dating sites, apps and chat rooms. But look out for fake profiles that may try to scam you. Next topic: Fake jobs. Previous topic: Partner and spouse fraud.
How to prove and fight online dating and romance scams
A number of factors have converged in recent times, spurred on by corona-vibes. The first is an increased probability of meeting online. Since , Tinder in particular has hastened the virtual-love frequency. Even in infancy, Tinder saw over 1 billion swipes per day. Many of those meeting people are new to online scams — both romantic and financial. In , Action Fraud received around 7 romance fraud reports every day.
They ask for financial help.
Recently, I heard yet another story of a woman connecting with a scammer on a legitimate dating site. These men are con artists who will find a way to touch your heart and your pocketbook without a second thought. But, there are certain clues you need to be aware of that will tip you off to potential scammers.
Scammers feed off specific clues you put in your profile. Be aware of sounding needy and lonely in your profile. It makes you perfect prey for scammers looking to hook you into their scams. He might tell you that he lives in a metropolitan city in the U. Most of these men live in poorer countries around the world where jobs that pay well are scarce.
How to spot a scammer
Online dating works. There are millions of singles online in the UK, seeking what we all look for: love, companionship and a long-term future. I met my gorgeous husband through online dating, and during the ten years I worked for Match. Figures published by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau show a scary upward swing:. It was thought that women were the main targets for online-dating scammers.
But men are increasingly duped.
The number of people falling victim to romance scams has jumped 50pc to the first half of , figures from trade body UK Finance showed.
At Match we want to ensure that you have a safe, friendly experience on the site. Remember that on Match you you are fully in control of your search and can choose to take things at your own pace. The approach that members take to get to know you will always vary. The sort of photos they use as well as the language of the personal ad can help you decide whether the member is genuinely looking for a partner or not. A scammer is anyone using match. Our moderation team manually check photos and personal ads across the site and a built-in screening system helps identify suspicious accounts, remove them and prevent re-registration.
While we are confident that our measures ensure a high level of security, we urge members to maintain vigilance while dating online and report any suspicious profiles to safeguard other members. We encourage all members to report any behaviour they deem inappropriate. Behaviour we urge all members to report include:. Places to report a user can be found:. Using the list of scammer behaviour to watch out for, this unfortunately, sounds like suspicious scammer behaviour.
You should never send money to someone to meet online, whatever the premise. Scammers will often pocket the money or use the bank details you have given to gain access to your online banking and pocket even more money. Scammers may go as far as sending fake documentation to corroborate their claims such as: photocopied plane tickets, visa requirements and passport information.
Over half of those looking for love online vulnerable to romance scams
Over half 55 per cent of people who use online dating services are leaving themselves vulnerable to being scammed, by trusting that the person they are in contact with is who they say they are before meeting in real life.
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.
These are external links and will open in a new window. Brian had promised Elspet a bright future – a wonderful marriage later in life and their own bungalow. But Brian was not real. They had met on a dating website, she had been taken in over email, and the money – including life savings – is now in his hands and lost to her. Elspet had been convinced by his story of serving abroad in the military.
She trusted him enough to believe that his friend, a diplomat, was bringing home his belongings but needed money for fares and courier fees. It was a lie. Now she works as a scam marshal, listening to victims and warning people in her community centre about the danger of this kind of fraud. They do not need to be alone in this,” she said. Fraudsters choose their victims by looking for signs of vulnerability, trawling through profiles, and winning trust over weeks and months. Previous research has suggested the majority of victims are women, and they lose twice as much on average as men.
Keep your family safe
Fake profiles will often feature photos taken from other people online and may pose as a US army officer or businessman based overseas. Monetary sums will be requested to pay for urgent medical care or even plane tickets to visit the UK, usually alongside a story designed to elicit sympathy and on the promise of it being repaid. Although the requests for money start small, they quickly escalate and many victims have lost hundreds of thousands of pounds to these fraudsters.
We know that romance fraud is underreported for a number of reasons but one can be that victims feel embarrassed they have been taken in by these fraudsters.
Sign up for scam alerts. The majority of accounts on dating websites are genuine people looking for romance, but you need to be careful of criminals who use convincing fake profiles and are not who they say they are. They will build what feels like a genuine loving relationship to gain your trust. Once they have achieved this, they will create fake stories of problems they are experiencing to convince you to send them money.
By now you trust them, so you offer to help. Once you send them money, they will keep coming back and invent new reasons to send them more. Fraudsters may also use the conversations you find out enough personal information about you to commit identity fraud. Kent Police have a lot of advice for what to do if you or someone you know may be affected by a relationship scammer, and how to report it. Online dating or relationship scams. Sign up for scam alerts The majority of accounts on dating websites are genuine people looking for romance, but you need to be careful of criminals who use convincing fake profiles and are not who they say they are.
They may do one of the following: arrange to visit you, but require money to pay for the flight tell you everything has been booked but their ticket has been stolen and you need to send more money quickly to get them on the next flight prey on your sympathies by telling you that they or someone they are responsible for is ill and they need money for urgent medical treatment and promise to pay you back.
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Russian scams on dating sites
Romance fraud happens when someone believes they have met their perfect match through an online dating site or app, but the other person is in fact a scammer using a fake profile to build the relationship. They slowly gain your trust with a view to eventually asking you for money or obtaining enough personal details to steal your identity.
It plays on the need we all have for love and companionship and many people fall victim every year.
A scammer is anyone using disingenuously to trick or scam other members, normally by asking for money. How to safeguard against scammers.