It has been revealed that over £50,766,602 was lost to romance fraud in 2018 alone. That is an average of £11,145 per victims and is a 27% increase on the previous year.
In one instance a woman lost nearly £10,000 to a romance fraudster who claimed to be in the British Army.
Newly released statistics have shown that many people across the UK have fallen victim to this type of fraud. In some instances the impact has been both physically and emotionally devastating.
In 2018, there were over 4,555 reports of romance fraud filed with Action Fraud, with the victims reporting to of lost a combined £50 million.
Not just our wallets
Fraudsters involved in this kind of activity don’t just empty our wallets, they can often leave us feeling emotionally and mentally ill.
Of the 4,555 cases reported, 42% of victims went on to describe that falling victim to romance fraud had an impact on their health and well-being.
Romance fraud reports have also shown that people aged 50 are more likely to fall victim and that more than 63% of all victims are female who lose twice as much as men.
Safety tips and how to avoid #fauxmance
- Don’t rush into an online relationship, get to know the person, not just the profile picture and ask plenty of questions.
- Analyse their profile and check the person is guanine by putting their name, profile pictures or any repeatedly used phrases and the term dating scam into your search engine.
- Talk to your fiends and family about your dating choices. Be wary of anyone who tells you not tell others about them.
- Evade scammers by never sending money to, or sharing your bank details with someone you’ve meet online, no matter what the reason they give or how long you’ve speaking with them.
- Stay on the dating site messenger service until you’re 110% confident the person is who they say they are. If you do decide to meet in person, make sure it is always in a public place and let someone else know where you’re going to be.
Head of the City of London Police Economic Crome Department, Commander Karen Baxter said:
“As cases of romance fraud increase each year, so too does the cost to victims, both emotionally and financially. The emotional damage of falling victim to romance fraud can often be far more difficult to come to terms with”.
“Heartless fraudsters are cruelly targeting vulnerable victims and exploiting those looking for love online.”
“Together with our partners, we are urging people to spot the signs of romance fraud and to follow the ‘Date Safe’ advice this Valentine’s Day and in the future.”
“If you think you have been a victim of romance fraud, please report this to Action Fraud.”
If you have been victim or if you know someone who has, fraud can be reported to Action Fraud online at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040