Family members urged to help protect online daters from dating scams

Friends and relatives of online daters are urged to help protect loved ones from dating fraud, with nearly £ 92million reported lost in total in the past year alone.

People who build relationships online between Christmas and Valentine’s Day may be particularly vulnerable to dating fraud, with a peak of 901 reports recorded by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) in March 2021.

Of the reports received in the past year, 20% of victims were between 50 and 59 years old, 18% were between 40 and 49 years old and 17% were between 30 and 39 years old.

Criminals may claim that they need the money to travel to visit the victim, pay for emergency medical bills, or even for lucrative investment opportunities. Or they can claim to be in the military or to work overseas.



Weeks or even months later, these criminals will ask for money for a variety of emotional reasons.

Temporary Detective Senior Superintendent Matt Bradford

Chief Superintendent Temporary Detective Matt Bradford, City of London Police, said: “Typically romantic fraudsters will spend weeks gaining the trust of their victims, telling them fabricated stories about who they are and who they are. on their lives – and initially make no suggestion of a desire to ask for money so that the victim can believe their newfound love is genuine.

“But weeks or even months later, these criminals will ask for money for a variety of emotional reasons, and because the emotional relationship is already formed, victims often transfer money without a second thought.

“We are calling on family members who think their loved ones can hang out online to help them be aware of the warning signs that they might be being cheated, especially if the person dating is not. not particularly tech savvy. “

People can help their friends and family members by making sure they have adequate privacy settings on their social media accounts, staying in regular contact, and being aware of the signs of dating fraud.

They can remind loved ones to never transfer money to someone they haven’t met in person and encourage them to report any suspicious behavior to Action Fraud and the police.

In one case brought to light by police, a woman’s father lost £ 1,000 to a fraudster who won her trust.

The man, who is in his 60s and suffers from Parkinson’s disease, was first posted on social media by someone claiming to be a woman who lived in Texas.

The fraudster behind the character had discovered specific information about him, including where he had grown up overseas and the industry he had worked in, and used it as a way to gain his trust and establish a relationship. relationship.

The scam involved a false story of coming to the UK and needing the money.

The victim’s money was eventually refunded by his bank.



It is essential that users educate themselves on how to be a smart online dateer and be aware of the actions that scammers will use to manipulate them.

Hannah Shimko, Online Dating Association

His daughter said: “This whole experience has been incredibly stressful, for me and for my father, and it was really difficult to bring it up with him.

“After I transferred the money, I told him about what had happened and sent him some press articles about the romance fraud to help him understand that this is some type of current scam. “

Hannah Shimko of the Online Dating Association said: “While most users are genuine, there are always those who seek to take advantage of vulnerable people in search of love.

“It is essential that users educate themselves on how to be a smart online dateer and be aware of the actions that scammers will use to manipulate them. “


Source link

Comments are closed.