The number of people defrauded in the UK by online dating scams reached a record high in , the Victoria Derbyshire programme has learned. Action Fraud, the UK's cyber-crime reporting centre, says it receives more than reports of such scams a month. Nancy - not her real name - is 47, and a single mother from North Yorkshire, who runs her own business. After a few days she made contact with someone calling himself Marcelo from Manchester, an attractive Italian who was working in Turkey, with whom she had "a rapport and similar values".
The two began exchanging messages from morning till night. After about six weeks, Marcelo said he had been mugged in Turkey and was unable to pay his workers before returning to the UK, when he and Nancy were due to meet. He also said his son was in hospital and needed surgery. In some ways I'm not sure I'll ever recover from that.
Both figures then rose the following year to their record highs. They're in West Africa, Eastern Europe and it's very difficult for British law enforcement to take action against them in those jurisdictions. Judith Lathlean, 68, a university professor living in Hampshire, fell victim to a fraudster when she tried online dating in , using the website Parship. She matched with a man calling himself John Porter from London, who said he was an interior designer. He said that he too was a Christian, and his profile emphasised honesty and trust.
But he contacted Ms Lathlean from what he said was a business trip in South Africa, claiming he had lost his passport and saying he would lose a contract as a result. He asked her to go and release it, and she agreed. I didn't think anything of it. I got a so-called receipt for the money I took as a management fee. They had an answer for everything. Parship said its security systems are constantly scanning for fake profiles, but added that in this case "communication was switched very quickly to outside the protected Parship platform, so the blocking facilities did not manage to prevent further contact with the scammer".
Prof Monica Whitty, a cyber-psychologist, says it is "not the case that stupid people fall for romance scams - they can be very clever". They use email to send poetry, they use instant messenger to groom them, to talk to them, to keep them awake at night. The Victoria Derbyshire programme is broadcast on weekdays between Nawaz Sharif has resigned after being disqualified from holding office over corruption allegations.
Victims who believe and stay are sucked into a whole different scam which becomes dangerous. Scammer profiles can be difficult to spot unless you know what red flags to look for. Users have an ideal person they are looking for whether it's an attractive individual, common interest, common geographic location, friends and hobbies. When the scam reaches the point where the victim is not giving up any more money, then the scammer turns to blackmail.
They threaten to send the web cam pictures to the victims work or family unless they are paid off. Wondering if the person you are talking to is too good to be true? Are some things just not making any sense? Did this person start professing his or her love in a short time? Is he or she currently working in a foreign country such as Nigeria? Is he or she having trouble cashing a check? Answer yes to any of these questions, you need to take our Quiz.
After you discover the scam you may have questions regarding the person you were talking to, the money you may have sent, the checks you may have cashed, how to report the scammer or just how the scam works. This is a section that can answer those questions and direct you to other areas on our site that will have more details on how to understand aftermath of a romance scammer. Scammers are on dating sites, and social networks setting up fake profiles.
Scammers will pose under the disguise of beautiful pictures as either male or female claiming to be from the United States. The scammer weaves a story of a successful business person working over seas, having no family ; they present themselves as a thoughtful, caring and loving individual who is looking for their soul mate.
The scammers are good at what they do; they ask lots of questions of the victim regarding what they want in their lives. The scammer then takes the information and turns it into a dream that becomes a reality to the victim. They use words we all like to hear to woo our hearts so they can burn our souls. They use psychology to hold you in their spell. Once they have established a relationship then the scamming begins. In all cases the plea for Financial assistance is the key to the scam.
This can be for assistance in cashing a check that they are unable to cash themselves and also asking for financial assistance to help them out of a difficulty they are having. They have landed in a hotel and now cannot pay the bill so the hotel is holding all their papers so they cannot leave. They are desperate to come to you but need your help with the money to manage that. They were mugged and are in the hospital and need you to pay their hospital bill as they are being held hostage until it is paid.
You will be receiving random instant messages and emails from people you do not know.