Sadly, some of cupid’s arrows go straight through the heart and straight into the bank account. Today is Valentines Day and we thought it was a good time to remind everybody of the dangers of online romance scams and how to stay safe.
Last year ActionFraud had 4,555 reports of romance fraud, the average loss was £11,145. Given that research suggests that only 1 in 20 fraud crimes is actually reported, this is a huge problem. Fraudsters use fake profiles, heart-warming stories and ego boosting interaction to groom their victims into sending them money.
Even if you do not use online dating sites please read on and help keep your friends and family safe from such massive potential losses, financially as well as emotionally.
NEVER SEND MONEY OR GIVE YOUR BANK DETAILS TO ANYONE THAT YOU HAVE NEVER MET
Tips and Advice
- Super good-looking photos – are one sign of a fake profile, like most scams, if it sounds or looks too good to be true….
- Strong emotions expressed – after a short amount of time is another warning
- Great listeners, but – they don’t tell you very much is another flashing warning sign
- Take your time – Just like an offline relationship don’t rush, really get to know the person
- Protect yourself – Use the messenger service on the dating website, off platform you are a lot more vulnerable. Similarly, if you meet up ALWAYS do so in a public place and tell your friends what you are doing
- Keep safe – never give your Pin, passwords or banking codes to anyone requesting them.
- Personal means private! – Do not divulge personal details unless you are certain who you are talking to
- Report it! – If you become aware or strongly suspect a profile is a fraudster most platforms have a reporting method, e.g. match.com just below the profile has “Report this profile” on a desktop and if you select the 3 dots on the mobile version you can select “Report a concern
- Contact – your bank or credit card company if you have already given out financial details.
- ID Protection – If you’re worried about identity fraud and would like to protect your identity contact CIFAS
- Still Unsure? – Join Reassura 0800 888 6400 and one of our fraud advisor’s will help you to stay safe
- To report a fraud – and receive a police crime reference number call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use theironline fraud reporting tool.
Reassura is dedicated to helping raise awareness of scams and fraud along with the impact they have on their victims. Reassura’s team of specialist anti-fraud advisors are here to help members make better decisions and avoid falling victim to scams and fraud.
Join Reassura either as:
- FREE member for scam alerts and newsletters to your inbox
- PREMIUM member for only £18 a year for all the alerts and unlimited access to our phone-based Fraud Advisors