In your profile, don’t include your last name, email address, home address, phone number, place of work or any other identifying information. A fraudster will usually make the first move, and this will often come out of the blue.Sometimes they will create a bogus, dreamy profile that sounds like the ideal mate you’ve described in your own dating profile.
Check that the profile on the dating website is consistent with what you’ve been told.
For example, make sure the profile picture doesn’t look different to their description of themselves. Has your ‘date’ told you they are university educated, but their English is very poor?
Scammers will go to great lengths to gain your interest and trust, such as showering you with loving words, sharing apparently personal information and sometimes even sending you gifts.
They may take several months to build what may feel like the romance of a lifetime and can even pretend to book travel to visit you, but they never actually arrive.
Don’t be afraid to tell people you trust that you’re talking to someone online – more than six million UK adults visit dating sites each month. The objective viewpoint they can offer is crucial if you’re emotionally involved.
If you’ve been scammed for money from someone you met online, inform the website immediately. You should also report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and crime reporting centre.
And you certainly shouldn’t wire money to anybody, as there’s no audit trail.
It’s like handing over cash – you won’t be able to get it back if it turns out to be a scam.
Scammers typically create fake online profiles designed to lure you in, either using a fictional name or falsely adopting the identities of real people.
Dating and romance scammers will express strong emotions for you in a relatively short period of time, and usually suggest you move the relationship away from the website to a more private channel, such as phone, email or instant messaging.
They will try to play on your sympathy and strike when you are the most vulnerable.