Online dating fraudsters

The number of people defrauded in the UK by online dating scams reached a record high in 2016.

As reported by the BBC, there were 3889 victims of so-called romance fraud last year, with those affected handing over a record £39 million, according to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.

“If we do engage in sending money we have to treat it like gambling at the casino, decide on how much you can afford to lose and be prepared to do so, it may be the jackpot, and if it is then you can reap the rewards.

Have you met someone online who could well be the love or your life?

However, Malik said, legitimate sites need to add a layer of user validation, or some form of vetting that can deter fraudsters from setting up multiple fake profiles and spamming unsuspecting victims. Obviously, people go on dating sites in the hope of meeting someone.

But don’t be fooled by a good-looking profile suddenly expressing an intense desire to become your soul mate.

They’re part of criminal gangs operating from Nigeria, Ghana, South-Africa, England, Spain, the United States or Malaysia.

Recently, they have been joined by con artists from the East Asia and Eastern Europe.

Grooming process Once the first contact has been made, the con artists will start pampering their victims with fake love, sweet-talking their way to their heart and their money. They’re very sophisticated and will go to great lengths to build a relationship with their victims, spending a lot of time communicating with them, trying to find out where their weaknesses lie.

The scammers reveal a great deal about themselves and invite their victims to be open and sincere too.

At this point, the con artist will set the stage for a crisis that only the victim (and their money) can solve.

There’s been an accident, documents have gone missing, transferring the inheritance money has gone wrong.

Their texts and photograph back up their image of the ideal partner.

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