Action Fraud has revealed romance fraud has increased with losses reported in excess of £50m for 2018. With dating on the internet an everyday norm for most it can be a lavish payday for a fraudster.
Whilst the internet makes it an easier route to carry out the fraud even meeting the person and seeing them regularly can still pose a risk. Any situation where someone is asking you for money and leaning on the closeness of your relationship with them can see you vulnerable to a potential fraud.
With requests for money playing at your heart strings be prepared to consider the red flags to a romance scam.
Has someone professed strong feelings for you after on recently meeting in person or on line and been in constant contact?
Their social media profile doesn't appear consistent with what they are telling you.
Can their profile picture be found online somewhere else from an image search?
Does their request for the money appear to be an elaborate story that keeps sounding more desperate?
It may not be a story to play on your emotions the fraudster could be masquerading as an investment professional and be conning you to invest into a scam.
Whilst Valentine's Day is seen as a way to show loved ones you care. Take stock of your romance and ask yourself are they the real deal?
Action Fraud has revealed £50.7m was lost to romance fraud in 2018 – an average of £11,145 per victim and a 27 per cent increase on the previous year. Action Fraud's data showed the growing scale of romance fraud, which happens when a person thinks they have met the perfect partner through an online dating website, app, or through social media, but in fact they are dealing with a fraudster using a fake profile to form a relationship with them. They will gain the person’s trust and ask for money or enough personal information to steal the victim's identity. The data from Action Fraud came after last week the FCA warned investors about the growing threat posed by investment scammers, after £197m of investment scam losses were reported last year.