We're supporting CrimeStoppers to fight Romance Fraud that's affecting individuals across the UK.
More and more people are meeting people online, on social networks, through online gaming, dating platforms, anywhere people chat online - and therefore more and more people are building relationships with people they’ve never met in person.
Online dating, for example, is now one of the most common ways to meet a romantic partner. While most users are genuine, unfortunately some are looking to take advantage of individuals looking for love.
Unfortunately fraudsters have seen how they can take advantage of this and now use fake profiles, fabricate stories, manipulate, and coerce – all with the intention of befriending innocent people on the internet, and with the eventual aim of convincing the innocent person to send them money.
This is romance fraud.
The average person loses £10,000 over the period of the scam. In 2021, over £99 million was lost collectively to romance fraud.
Romance fraud can happen to anybody. All genders, ages, sexual orientations. People of all cultural and ethnic backgrounds are victims, with gay men disproportionately targeted, accounting for 12.4% of victims overall in 2021.
Signs to spot a romance fraud:
before you’ve really got to know them, they declare their love quickly
they make excuses why they can’t video chat or meet in person
they try quickly to move your conversations off the platform you met on
when they ask for financial help, it’ll be for a time-critical emergency, and the reason will pull at the heartstrings
they may get defensive if you decline to help
they might tell you to keep your relationship private and not to discuss anything with your friends and family.