Don't fall for 'romance fraud' this Valentine's Day, finance group warns

One in five people who use online dating services say they have been asked for or given money to someone they met over the internet, a survey has found.
Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The research was released by UK Finance, which is warning people against romance scams as Valentine’s Day approaches on Friday.

Around a fifth of people who go online to find dates say that they have either been asked for money or have given cash to someone that they met online.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Men were more likely to be asked for money than women. The average amount of money that was requested or given was £321.

Warnings over 'romance fraud'Warnings over 'romance fraud'
Warnings over 'romance fraud'

UK Finance data shows that £7.9 million was lost to romance scams in the first half of 2019, an increase of 50% on the previous year.

Classic hallmarks of romance fraud include criminals asking many personal questions about their victim and making over-the-top declarations of love within a short space of time. Often, fraudsters will invent a sob story for why they need some cash urgently, perhaps claiming their money has been stolen or that someone has fallen ill.

They may come up with excuses for why they cannot meet up in person and may also try to dissuade victims from discussing matters with friends and family.

They may also use fake pictures of actors or models to attract their victims - so it may be worth carrying out an online image search to see if the photo has been stolen from elsewhere.