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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 fraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. centre says.
Action FraudActionFraud Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime where you should report fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber crime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. WEBSITE LINK said 3,543 people reported falling victim to dating scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. 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.
Commander Greany said:
“It is a reprehensible criminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. 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.”
“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 fraudsterFraudster A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. 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.”