One victim reports dating fraud every three hours, according to the latest national figures from City of London Police.
- On average, fraudsters ask their victims to transfer money within one month of first contact.
- Almost half (45%) of victims indicated that dating fraud had a ‘significant’ impact on their health or financial well-being.
- The average amount lost by a dating fraud victim in the UK is £10,000.
A new UK campaign is aiming to raise awareness about the growing problem of online dating fraud.
The campaign, Date Safe, suggests criminals are using love letter templates and an online search could flag up some of the stock phrases.
Police say the average dating scam victim is aged 49 and loses £10,000.
The new report, published by the City of London Police and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, also reveals that on average, money is transferred within 30 days of initial contact with the perpetrator.
Top Tips For Safe Online Dating
- Avoid giving away too many personal details when dating online. Revealing your full name, date of birth and home address may lead to your identity being stolen.
- Never send or receive money or give away your bank details to someone you’ve only met online, no matter how much you trust them or believe their story.
- Pick a reputable dating website and use the site’s messaging service. Fraudsters want to quickly switch to social media or texting so there’s no evidence of them asking you for money.
Spot the Signs
- You’ve struck up a relationship with someone online; they’re asking a lot of personal questions about you, but they’re not interested in telling you much about themselves.
- They invent a reason to ask for your help, using the emotional attachment you’ve built with them. Your relationship with them may often depend on you sending money.
- Their pictures are too perfect – they may have been stolen from an actor or model. Reverse image search can find photos that have been taken from somewhere else.
Anyone who has been affected by online dating scams, or any other crime, can receive advice and support from Warwickshire Victim Support by contacting them on 01926 682 693, or via their website.
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.