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Anti-Scam Tip - Be Smart Against Romance Scammers!Online dating website users conned out of millions

From the BBC 28 October 2015

Online dating fraudsters conned victims out of more than £33m in the last year, the UK’s national fraud centre says.

Action Fraud said 3,543 people reported falling victim to dating scams in 2014-15. It said dating sites “very rarely” vet members to prevent fraud.

Commander Chris Greany, national police lead for economic crime, said the crime was “reprehensible” and that some victims had lost “everything”. Scams included asking for travel costs or to pay medical bills, police said. Victims were often contacted through dating websites and befriended by fraudsters before requests for money were made.

The warning comes as part of a campaign to identify “common fraud myths”.  The 13-day campaign – which is being organised by Action Fraud and the City of London Police – warns that dating fraudsters are often “particularly convincing”, especially if victims already think they have been vetted by dating websites.  Commander Greany, who will be overseeing the campaign, said sums stolen in dating fraud ranged from small to “huge” amounts.

Tragic examples

Commander Greany said:

“It is a reprehensible criminal act which preys on one of the oldest human emotions, which is love. Fraud does seem to be on the increase and with dating fraud we can definitely say it has gone up in the last year.”

He added:

“Dating websites are all good and sometimes they help people find partners but people need to be circumspect about what they find. There are some very tragic examples where people have sent everything they have and now they have got nothing.”

Organisers of the campaign say the absence of checks by some dating websites can make it even easier for the fraudster to manipulate their victim.

A City of London Police spokeswoman said:

“The reality is that most dating websites allow people to sign-up to the website without vetting checks, which means that fraudsters are able to use the website to target people online and defraud them.”

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SCARS|RSN™ RomanceScamsNow.com™ is the official knowledge and victims' support publication of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams™ Incorporated [SCARS]™ It is edited and published by the SCARS|RSN Team, a division of SCARS. SCARS is the world's leading anti-scam charitable nonprofit nongovernmental organization, based in Miami Florida U.S.A. Its founder has been involved in combating online fraud since 1991. SCARS™ - the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. is a charitable nonprofit nongovernmental organization (NGO) dedicated to advocating victim's causes and changing government and law enforcement attitudes toward online fraud for good! Please join us in becoming a member of SCARS - it's free! Add your voice so that the world will listen at last - just go to www.AgainstScams.org. The SCARS|RSN website and all of our publications (including social media) are maintained by our own staff employees and volunteers to provide you the most up to date information about scams & scammers from around the world. We show you how to avoid them or recover from them. SCARS is the only registered online crime victims' assistance & support organization in the world. Be sure to report scammers here. Also, visit our main Facebook page for more information about romance scams.