Romance Fraud occurs when criminals feign romantic intentions towards their intended victim and use the nature of their relationship to fraudulently obtain money or sensitive information. This can be a devastating crime for those involved with huge amounts of money being extracted from the victims.
Over the coming months the RECU along with our regional forces will be focusing on this type of fraud
Our campaign will aim to provide an enhanced response to Romance Fraud leading to:
- An increase in the identification and prosecution of offenders
- A reduction in the financial benefit for offenders
- Fewer opportunities to offend
- Enhanced methodology to protect victims and potential victims
- Improved collaboration with partners
- Improved understanding of the threat across the region
How to avoid being a victim
What are the signs ?
Fraudsters can be experienced in spinning stories to lure in their victims.
These include the following:
- They prefer to move communications away from dating websites. They may suggest that you move to instant messaging, text or phone calls instead
- They ask a lot personal questions about you
- They avoid answering personal questions about themselves. The details that they do tell you seem made up or don’t reflect reality. For instance, they may say that they’re university educated, but their spelling and grammar is poor
- They try to establish a bond quickly. For example, they may give you an endearing pet name or tell you that ‘they’ve never felt like this before’
- They ask for financial help. They may also tell you about money problems frequently in the hope that you’ll offer to help
- You never meet them in person. They may promise to see you, but either cancel every time or offer excuses which delay meeting up, like financial troubles
- You perform a reverse image search of their profile photo and it seems to belong to someone else
How to protect yourself from being a victim
Dating websites and apps are useful places for meeting someone new.
Here are some things which may help you avoid becoming a victim:
- Don’t share personal details
- Don’t send or receive money
- Only Use trusted dating websites
- Don’t share personal contact details
- Think twice before using your webcam
- Trust your instincts
How to report a romance fraud
You can report fake dating profiles to the websites that they’re posted on.
If you have lost money to a romantic fraudster or think that they may have stolen your personal information, please contact Action Fraud, which treats reports in confidence.