The saying “love is blind” is all too true when it comes to romance scams


Reports of romance scams have skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Which?

Analysis of Action Fraud data by the consumer group found that dating fraud reports increased by 40% in the year to April 2021, compared to the previous year, with more than 7,500 scams reported.

Reported losses reached £ 73.9million during the period – but the actual figure is likely much higher as many victims are too embarrassed or upset to tell authorities.

Warning signs of an online dating scam include people apologizing for not being able to meet in person, making exaggerated declarations of love when they barely know the person they are communicating with and who make up a bloody story to explain why they urgently need it. money.

Fraudsters often claim that they need the money to travel to the UK so that they can ‘build a life’ with the victim.

Passport advocacy

In one case highlighted by Which ?, a man was exchanging messages in 2019 with a potential love interest on Older Dating Online with a woman supposedly based in Russia, who asked for £ 650 for a passport. This was quickly followed by more requests for cash.

He said: “I became a suspect and contacted my bank to report the scam, but the money could not be recovered. I haven’t been out at all since the scam. told Which? : “We take the safety of our members very seriously. When a member attempts to register for the service, they undergo various assessments performed by a third-party fraud and scam detection service before they can successfully register.

Manual checks

“When a member submits public content to their profile, including images, this is verified by our moderation team.

“Our customer service team performs a number of manual profile checks to weed out dishonest people.”

Another man, 65, was scammed for nearly £ 4,000 after meeting someone on Twitter, Which? mentionned.

The con artist impersonated a young woman, but the victim later found out he was texting a man in Nigeria, according to the consumer group.

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