March 26, 2024

It has been revealed that almost £92 million has been lost via internet romance scams – and police are urging families of online daters to help protect their relatives.

Fraudsters often use a range of stories to get victims to transfer them money without it raising suspicion.

The stories are often believable, to a certain extent, and something that the victim would find hard to say no to, especially because of their emotional attachment.

Examples of stories include funding travel to visit the victim, money to pay for emergency medical expenses, lucrative investment opportunities and pretending to be military personnel or working overseas.

Between November 2020 and October 2021 Cumbria police received 63 reports of romance fraud.

Detective Sergeant Jonathan Kelly said: “These scams can be extremely sophisticated and those victim to such a scam should not be embarrassed and are encouraged to report it.

“Many victims are convinced that the person is real with the fraudster gaining the victims trust over weeks with fabricated details on their lives, before a story is produced asking for money. These will have a variety of emotive reasons and as the emotional relationship has already been formed, victims often transfer money without a second thought.

“We would urge people to protect themselves and make family members aware of the warning signs if they are online dating who might not be aware of the type of scam.

“Together with our partners, we are urging people…

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