Romance scams involve fraudsters developing a relationship online and once a bond and level of trust has been formed, asking for financial help. Typical scenarios may include:
- Money needed for some form of emergency.
- Money to pay for travel documentation and travel expenses so that they can come and visit.
- Some form of investment opportunity.
Scammers will use fake profiles and are very well rehearsed at using social engineering to convince you to disclose information or to generate attachment.
Protect yourself from Romance Fraud
- Only use established dating websites. Scammers will often want you to move away from these platforms as quickly as possible where they will not be monitored.
- Fraudsters will often ask a lot of personal questions about you; however they may be coy in disclosing information about themselves. Be cautious about how much personal information you disclose.
- Fraudsters will often be very quick to disclose strong feelings or to give you a ‘pet name’ in an attempt to quickly develop a bond, even though you have not met in person. Treat this as a warning sign.
- Be cautious if the person you are talking to is from overseas, making it more difficult to meet up in person.
- There may be a reluctance to have face-to-face conversations. Perhaps they are trying to protect their true identity? Profile pictures can easily be faked. Learn how to perform a ‘reverse image search’ to see if a profile picture exists elsewhere on the internet.
- Fraudsters will try to isolate their victims encouraging them to keep the relationship a secret from family or friends. Ensure you are seeking advice and speaking to those close to you about your experiences as they may be able to identify something is wrong. Any request for money should be treated with suspicion.
- If you believe you or a family member have been targeted by a Romance Fraudster, contact your bank immediately, report to Action Fraud and to the relevant dating platform.
Criminals might try to contact you via phone, email, text message or in person.
Be vigilant of investments that seem too good to be true. Always do your research.
Criminals try to impersonate victims to steal money. You can protect yourself.
Protecting your debit and credit card data is crucial in the fight against fraud.
Fraudsters often impersonate others when trying to steal your money and data.
Often affecting businesses, this is when a fraudster finds a way of changing payment details when paying invoices.
Becoming a client
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