Looking for love online? Don’t fall victim to romance fraud…
While many thousands of people in the UK look for love online, around 200,000 of them may have fallen victim to online romance scams according to new research.
The University of Leicester study shows that online love-seekers have been the target of online romance scams, where criminals set up fake identities using stolen photographs (often of models or army officers) and develop an online relationship with their victim using online dating sites.
At some point the criminal will pretend to be in urgent need of money – and many kind-hearted online daters are only too happy to help.
The Serious Organised Crime Agency reports that victims have lost amounts ranging from £50 to an incredible £240,000.
Professor Monica Whitty, who led the study, said:
“Our data suggests that the numbers of British victims of this relatively new crime is much higher than reported incidents would suggest. It also confirms law enforcement suspicions that this is an under-reported crime, and thus more serious than first thought.
“This is a concern not solely because people are losing large sums of money to these criminals, but also because of the psychological impact experienced by victims of this crime. It is our view that the trauma caused by this scam is worse than any other, because of the ‘double hit’ experienced by the victims – loss of monies and a ‘romantic relationship’.”
Anyone who has been a victim of romance fraud can report it at www.actionfraud.org.uk.
Do you use online dating sites? Have you experienced romance fraud? Let us know below.
TV for only £4 a month
BT Vision is the best way for your whole family to watch more of what you love, when you want. Get Freeview, catch-up TV and over 5,300 on demand shows at the touch of a button.
Posted by Tim Guest - July 23rd 2012 at 10:30
Posted by Sam Calvert - October 17th 2011 at 10:00
Posted by Ed Kyte - September 12th 2011 at 9:40
Posted by Jacqui Thomas - August 31st 2011 at 10:00
Posted by Sam Calvert - August 11th 2011 at 12:00
More articles by BT Life Newsdesk
Posted by BT Life Newsdesk - May 9th 2013 at 11:29
Posted by BT Life Newsdesk - May 9th 2013 at 11:04
Posted by BT Life Newsdesk - May 9th 2013 at 11:02
Posted by BT Life Newsdesk - May 9th 2013 at 11:01
Posted by BT Life Newsdesk - May 9th 2013 at 4:57
BT is not responsible for any external content or links uploaded by users of the site. Nor does the presence of information or links about other parties' products or services confer any form of endorsement of another party's products or services by BT. Please visit the BT Life user guide for more information.