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"Millions of people have found their partners through online dating but if you think you suspect fraudulent behaviour, please always report it to the dating provider as well as the Police; that way we can make it even safer for all users." Anyone who is a victim of dating fraud should report to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.or by calling 03.
The majority of accounts on dating websites are genuine people looking for romance, but fraudsters may try to contact you by making fake profiles, getting in touch and building what feels like a loving relationship.Detective Inspector Gary Miles, from the Met’s Falcon Unit, said: "The people who perpetrate this type of offence are ruthless, organised, committed and without conscience to the pain, embarrassment and financial loss they cause to their victims. “ Andrew Mc Clelland, CEO of the Online Dating Association, added: "People spend much of their lives online, communicating and meeting new people via dating services or social networks."Fraudsters will normally try to move you away from the service as soon as they can, so we encourage users to continue communicating via the dating service which helps dating providers to detect fraudulent behaviour.According to City of London Police one victim reports scams linked to romantic liaisons every three hours.Scam victims lose an average of £10,000 in the UK with almost all fraudsters demanding their targets transfer money within the first month of contact.Scammers take advantage of the anonymity of the internet to create the 'perfect profile', making any number of promises to tempt their victims to letting their defences down. This will not happen immediately, however before long the scammer will ask for financial help for any number of reasons.
Almost always they will ask you to send money using an untraceable source such as electronic money transfer services (even using legitimate services, such as Western Union or Moneygram).Online dating scammers are not out to steal your heart - instead they want to steal your cash!Every year Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police investigate many cases where fraudsters have tricked money out of unsuspecting victims on internet dating sites - sometimes thousands of pounds.They may tell you everything has been booked but their ticket has been stolen, and you need to send money quickly to get them on the next flight.Alternatively they may prey on your sympathies, telling you a family member or someone else they are responsible for is ill and they need money for medical treatment.They’ll ask innocent-looking questions about you that make it look like they just want to get to know you, such as your date of birth, home address or family background.