Security and risk complaints online: Police launch bid to tackle dating fraud which sees one victim conned out of £10,000 every three hours

 

Scotland Yard have teamed up with charities and other forces across the capital amid a spike in fraud linked to dating websites and apps.

 

According to City of London Police one victim reports scams linked to romantic liaisons every three hours.

 

Scam victims lose an average of £10,000 in the UK with almost all fraudsters demanding their targets transfer money within the first month of contact.

 

The two police forces, alongside charities Age UK and Victim Support have urged those looking to romance to follow dating tips in order to avoid financial misery.

 

Advice includes never sending money to someone you have met online and searching any potential dates on the internet alongside the term “dating scam”.

 

Detective Inspector Gary Miles, from the Met’s Falcon Unit, said: “The people who perpetrate this type of offence are ruthless, organised, committed and without conscience to the pain, embarrassment and financial loss they cause to their victims. Their methodology is sophisticated. “

 

Andrew McClelland, CEO of the Online Dating Association, added: “People spend much of their lives online, communicating and meeting new people via dating services or social networks.

 

“Fraudsters will normally try to move you away from the service as soon as they can, so we encourage users to continue communicating via the dating service which helps dating providers to detect fraudulent behaviour.

 

“Millions of people have found their partners through online dating but if you think you suspect fraudulent behaviour, please always report it to the dating provider as well as the Police; that way we can make it even safer for all users.”

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