Reassura Guide: Romance Scams and How to Avoid Them

Love is one of the strongest emotions that humans feel, and we all want to be loved. Fraudsters frequently seek to take advantage of these feelings. Online dating sites, specialist Apps etc can be wonderful ways to find the perfect partner but they are also a minefield of fraudsters creating fake profiles to attract your attention and entice you into forming relationships where they are not looking for your love but your money or enough personal information to steal your identity. In 2017 ActionFraud had 3,557 cases reported of Romance Fraud, with an average loss of £11,500, that’s over 10 cases per day.

Most Common Romance Scams

Romance Identity Fraud

This is when your new “friend” asks lot of personal questions about you, generally they don’t tell you much about themselves, they then use your information to steal your identity.

Romance Cash Fraud

This is when you’ve struck up a relationship with someone online and quite often after a decent period your friend needs money, this is frequently said to be for a sick relative, home repairs, funeral costs or even to come and see you. The stories never end, until your cash does.

Tips to Avoid Becoming a Romance Fraud Victim

  • Don’t overshare – Avoid giving away too much personal information such as; your full name, date of birth, address as this could potentially lead to your identity being stolen.
  • Research the site -Ensure that you only use highly reputable online dating platforms (e.g. eharmony, Match, SeniorLove, The Telegraph, SagaDating, The Guardian, JustSeniorSingles, DatingAgency and others). Check their reviews.
  • Communicate Safe -Ensure that you use the built-in messaging feature to prevent your email or name appearing. Be cautious of anyone who wants to have your social media details or phone number to text as this is often a ploy of fraudsters
  • Don’t Send Money – In any form, however convincing or heart wrenching the story is, that’s not how real relationships work.
  • Trust Your Instinct – If you feel something is not quite right, it isn’t. Go slowly let the relationship build naturally.
  • Ask Someone- Ask a friend or call Reassura on 0800 888 6400 to get a second opinion.

What to Do if You have been the Victim of a Romance Scam

  • Contact Action Fraud to report the crime: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud
  • If you’re worried about identity fraud contact CIFAS
  • If they have your bank or credit card details, contact your bank or credit card provider
  • Talk to a friend, we feel better when we talk about these things.