Dating or romance fraud is when you think you’ve met your perfect partner online, but they aren’t who they say they are. Once they’ve gained your trust, they ask for money for a variety of emotive reasons.
Get Safe Online has issued the following advice on how you and others can stay safe when looking for love online.
Tell-tale signs your online date may be a fraudster:
- They want to communicate with you through instant messaging and texts, rather than through the dating website or chat room where you met.
- They ask you lots of questions about yourself, but don’t tell you much about themselves.
- They don’t answer basic questions about where they live and work.
- Their profile picture is too perfect – for example they look like an actor or Miss World titleholder.
They start asking you to send them money using a number of different scenarios such as:
- Claiming to be military personnel based overseas who require funds for flights home or early discharge from the forces
- Citing medical related issues they need money for such as a sudden need for surgery, either for the fraudster or the fraudster’s family member
- They’ve arranged to visit you but need money to pay travel costs
- This list is not exhaustive, if it sounds suspicious don’t risk it
Behaviours that put you at risk
- Revealing too much personal information, such as your home address, or your full date of birth.
- Revealing any financial details, or responding to requests to send money.
- Clicking on links, or opening attachments in emails from someone you’ve just met on a dating site.
How to date online safely
- Avoid posting details such as your full name, date of birth, or your home and work addresses on online profiles. Criminals can use these types of personal information to steal your identity.
- Never respond to any requests to send money, or have money transferred into your account by someone you don’t know and trust. These types of requests should always raise a red flag.
- Never reveal any of your financial details. If a user asks you for them, stop communicating with them immediately and report it to the dating site.
- Trust your instincts – if you think something feels wrong, it probably is.
What should you do if you’ve been a victim of dating fraud?
- Report it to Action Fraud.
- Break off all contact immediately.
- Report the fraudster to the website or chat room operator.
Complete the new 2016 Cyber Crime survey, so we can see the full scope of Cyber Crime in Warwickshire, and across West Mercia and the West Midlands – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RegionalCyber16