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However, the actual number of crimes is thought to be considerably higher, with victims not reporting them owing to embarrassment.
Almost two thirds (62%) of all victims are aged between 40-69 accounting for £16 million of the total losses.
It can happen like this: “Maria” signed up for an online dating service and was contacted by “Andrew,” who claimed to be an American overseas on business in Australia.
Maria and Andrew seemed to hit it off and began planning a road trip for that summer when Andrew would come back to the U. Andrew sent Maria a check for ,000 to cover the cost of their trip, but then suddenly asked her to send ,500 back to him because he needed money for rent after being laid off from his job.
Online dating and romance scams are sophisticated operations that are typically conducted by criminal gangs.
It is important for online users to be on the look-out for online dating and romance scams.Online dating fraud in the UK cost victims a heart-breaking £27 million last year, according to the latest stats from the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Get Safe Online .Over 2,700 online dating related crimes were reported to the police over 12 months with the average loss standing at £10,000.Be wary of sending money to someone you have never met in person, especially via a wire transfer service, like Western Union or Money Gram, or a prepaid money card, like Green Dot.Once a person wires money to a foreign country, the money is generally unrecoverable.
A scammer may beg for hundreds or thousands of dollars, claiming a family member became suddenly ill, he or she was robbed, or the person is having difficulty obtaining travel documents after spending all his or her money on a plane ticket to visit you.