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Protecting you from romance fraud

Most people on online dating sites are genuine, and want a relationship but some are fraudsters though, and only want your money.

Posted on 2 February 2018

Every month, hundreds of men and women in the UK are conned out of sums as large as hundreds of thousands of pounds, often causing financial ruin and the trauma that accompanies it. It’s a particularly heartless crime as it also dashes victims’ hopes of finding love.

We’ve teamed up with Get Safe Online to bring you expert tips to help protect you from romance fraud:

  • Pick a reputable dating website and don’t move the conversation off the site's messaging service until you’re confident the person is who they say they are.
  • Get to know the person, not the profile. Ask plenty of questions – don’t rush into an online relationship.
  • Check the person is genuine by putting their name, profile pictures or any repeatedly used phrases and the term "dating scam" or "romance scam" into your search engine.
  • Talk to your friends and family about your dating choices. Be wary of anyone who tells you not to tell others about them. Tell someone what you're doing and where, before meeting an online suitor in person for the first time.
  • Never send money or your bank details to someone you've met online - no matter what reason they give or how long you've been speaking to them.
  • Don’t give away too many personal details. Revealing your full name, date of birth, home address or workplace could lead to identity theft, or even personal harm.

If you become a victim of romance fraud, report it immediately to the dating site where you met the perpetrator, and to Action Fraud or tel: 0300 123 2040. This makes it easier to take action and protect other innocent people, even though you may feel embarrassed to tell anybody.

For comprehensive, practical, impartial advice on safe online dating, including safe first date meetings, visit dating information on Get Safe Online.