Unfortunately, fraud is on the rise and vulnerabilities are exploited to victimize unsuspecting individuals. Surrey Police have shared the disturbing story of a man who was the victim of a harrowing case of scam.
The 53-year-old had been through a divorce and had turned to dating sites in hopes of finding love again.
By creating a profile, he hoped to build a new relationship and start over.
So, he was thrilled when he was contacted by a woman and sparked a conversation.
The woman claimed to be Spanish but lived in the United States and frequently sent her pictures. However, he has never seen the woman in real life or on video.
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But for those who have fallen victim to such scams, the consequences can be painful.
Romance fraud is believed to be one of the fastest growing types of crime affecting vulnerable people.
At first, scammers don’t ask people for money and seek to establish a relationship with them, playing on emotions and trying to establish trust.
It is once this is done that scammers can more easily snag their victims, because at that point their claims may have greater plausibility.
Therefore, people should always take precautions to protect themselves from being targeted in this way.
Surrey Police say: ‘Don’t rush into an online relationship – get to know the person, not their profile. Ask lots of questions.
“Analyze their profile – confirm the person’s identity. Verify that the person is genuine by putting their name, profile pictures, or any phrase used over and over and the term “dating scam” into your search engine.
Individuals should always be wary of the personal information they give out and seek to stay on the legitimate dating site – as it may be monitored.
Surrey Police say fraudsters often target emotions to trick Britons into parting with their money – but people should never do this.
Similarly, a red flag is someone who asks a lot of questions in an attempt to gain personal information, but doesn’t provide much about themselves in return.
Those who believe that a romance fraud is taking place can report the matter to Action Fraud.
It is likely that the organization will take additional steps to prevent individuals from being victimized.