In the latest of one of several heart-breaking cases a women has been conned out of £1.6 million in a series of targeted dating scams. Could it be you?
Expert police teams dealing with fraud and cyber-crime report that while the number of romance scams they’re investigating are fewer than other internet-based hoaxes, the financial losses which people suffer are far greater.
In a sophisticated con lasting 10 months, London Met Police have issued a warning after the victim, believing she was talking online to a successful engineer turned out to be an unscrupulous scamming gang. The two men caught by the Mets cybercrime unit were sentenced to 3 years each.
With reports of online dating scams rising by more than 30%, the cyber-crime and fraud team have investigated the loss of £4 million pounds taken from 100 victims ruthlessly manipulated by men and women declaring their love for them. It’s something that can affect people from all backgrounds and all walks of life. In another recent case a normally vigilant victim said that despite ‘my common sense’ telling me that something wasn’t right in his story, I sent three lots of money to a man claiming to be a US Marine living in the United States.
Think you’ve found your perfect partner online who seems to be too good to be true? Action Fraud advise this fits a typical profile of a dating scammer – then it’s likely that they aren’t who they say they are and in reality members of a criminal gang working together to target people more likely to have money. Once they’ve gained your trust, they’ll ask for money for a range of well-rehearsed emotional reasons; all carefully crafted to pull at your heart strings. They’re very clever and very experienced in manipulating those of us normally streetwise and sensible, so unless we’re aware of how they operate, any of us could fall victim to their tactics.
Recognise a scammer, arm yourself with the information you need.
Although anyone looking for a partner or love online is vulnerable, fortunately you can reduce the likelihood of being caught up in an online dating scam by understanding how they operate. Understanding the profile and tactics of a typical dating scammer will arm you with the information you need to recognise scammers if you come across one and avoid being their next victim!
ACTION FRAUD the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre have used their experience to piece together information on a typical dating scammer, how they work and the tactics they use.
Everyday tactics of an online dating scammer. What they’ll say & what they’ll do.