Your money is the only way to a fraudster's heart this Valentine's Day
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More and more of us are looking for love online these days, especially considering the increased isolation of the last couple of years.
Although the majority of people on online dating sites are looking for a date or soulmate, unfortunately for some money is the only way to their heart.
We know that, statistically speaking, daters who strike up online romances at this time of year tend to be more susceptible to romance fraud.
Online fraudsters will create a false profile which includes using a fake profile picture, they may state that they are highly educated or their job allows them to work overseas. For example, they may say they are in the Army or a business person, tell-tale signs can also be poor grammar or seemingly unrealistic stories about their travel experiences.
They will begin by asking all the right questions to gain the victim’s trust, but unbeknownst to the victim, this is not because they are genuinely interested in them but to be able to manipulate them later on in parting with their money, this communication can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months in order to get the victim to develop genuine feelings.
Once the fraudster thinks they have gained the victims trust, they will begin to use a range of stories to get the victim to transfer them money without raising suspicion. This could be anything from asking for money to pay for emergency medical care, asking the victim to transfer money to buy a plane or train ticket so that they can meet, or asking for a short term loan which they promise they will pay back.
Remember that fraudsters know just how to exploit their victims, so a victim may be adamant that their new love is genuine and may avoid telling friends and family things which may arouse suspicion. That’s why it’s integral that we look out for one another, and make sure we aware of potential signs of romance fraud.
If you think you, or someone you know, may be a victim of romance fraud please report it to us via one of the following methods:
Facebook – send us a private message to /DerbyshireConstabulary
Twitter – direct message our contact centre on @DerPolContact