The number of people defrauded in the UK by online dating scams reached a record high in 2016, the Victoria Derbyshire programme has learned.
According to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, there were 3,889 victims of so-called romance fraud last year, who handed over a record £39m. Each victim loses on average £10,000.
Action Fraud, the UK’s cyber-crime reporting centre, says it receives more than 350 reports of such scams a month.
Match.com says it provides regular advice on how to stay safe and suggests members keep conversations on the site “so that our customer care team can identify abnormal activity”.
- Criminals who commit romance fraud trawl through profiles and piece together information such as wealth and lifestyle, in order to manipulate their victims
- Police can investigate and help to provide support, but often cannot get the money back
- It is very simple for fraudsters to cover their tracks by masking IP addresses and using unregistered phone numbers
- Never send money to someone online you have never met
- Think twice about posting personal information which could be used to manipulate or bribe you
“A lot of the online dating fraudsters we know are abroad. They’re in West Africa, Eastern Europe and it’s very difficult for British law enforcement to take action against them in those jurisdictions.”
Complete the new 2016/17 Cyber Crime survey, so we can see the full scope of Cyber Crime in Warwickshire, and across West Mercia, the West Midlands and Staffordshire – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RegionalCyber16
For more information about our work, please visit www.safeinwarwickshire.com/cybercrime
Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety. Their website offers advice on how you can protect yourself, your computers and devices, and your business against the likes of fraud, identity theft, viruses and other potential online problems.
ThinkUKnow is a national website which offers tailored advice to young people about online safety concerns. There is also a section on there if you are a parent/carer or a teacher who is concerned about a young person’s safety online.