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I don’t feel like I can trust anyone anymore and I find it hard to meet any potential new partner.” Gary Miles, detective chief inspector at the Metropolitan Police – Op Falcon, says: ““The people who perpetrate this type of offence are ruthless, organised, committed and without conscience to the pain, embarrassment and financial loss they cause to their victims.” As well as online dating scams, there are also instances of people being targeted via personal ads.But while dating scams in their various different guises may be rife, the Financial Service (FOS) receives very few complaints.
The key is to report the matter to the police immediately.” Here we take a look at some of the ways in which you can get scammed – and the steps you can take to protect yourself.
In its simplest form, romance fraud usually involves a conman posing as an interested suitor – often claiming to be travelling, living or working abroad, but insisting he will soon be returning to the UK.
It has noted that complaints about online dating sites are highest in the first two months of the year and tend to spike around St Valentine’s Day.
“This is more Halloween than Valentine’s,” said its director, Ann Neville.
The European Consumer Centre received 34 complaints about renewal practices on online dating websites last year and 20 per cent of those were made in January and February.