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Dating fraud

Online dating or romance fraud is when you think you’ve met your perfect partner online, but they aren’t who they say they are. 

Instead they're a criminal who has worked to gain your trust so they can steal money from you. 

Victims are often embarrassed about how much they have trusted someone but there is no need to be. These criminals play on your emotions and will use a variety of methods to convince you to send them money. 

If you're talking to someone online who you haven't met make sure you remain cautious. 

Know the signs

Are they:
  • trying to find out a lot of information about you but aren't giving you the same details about them in return
  • calling you by a pet name or use endearing terms very early on in your conversations
  • quickly asking to talk to you through instant messaging and texts, rather than the dating website or chat room where you met
  • hinting that they're short of money
  • already asking you to send them money perhaps to cover travel costs to meet you, or asking you to help with an 'emergency' such as urgent medical treatment.

What should I do if I think I'm a victim of dating fraud?

  1. Report it to Action Fraud.
  2. Break off all contact immediately.
  3. Report them to the website or chat room operator.
  4. Never send them money.

Protect yourself against dating fraud

First and foremost you should always guard your privacy.
  • Never disclose personal information or send compromising or embarrassing images of yourself.
  • Never send money or give credit card or online account details to anyone you don’t know well and trust completely.
  • Never reply to communications from someone who you meet on a dating site or chat room who then wants to continue talking to you by email.
  • If you're meeting someone you have spoken to online do so in a public environment which is much safer.
  • Tell someone where you're going and give them the times you're meeting and when you expect to leave.
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