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Romance scams on social media and apps are on the dating — but there are steps you can take if you fall victim. T he dating game is full of the unexpected: it can quickly become apparent that photographs might have been in rotation for a few years or that someone listing their height as 5ft 10in could only achieve that height on tiptoes. But while those deceits may be forgivable if you hit it off scam your dating, at the other end of the spectrum are far worse cons. Romance scammers create what appears to be a genuine relationship that can go on for weeks or months. Once trust has been built, the fraudster will then ask for what are often large scams of money.

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Romance fraud - scamming someone out of dating by pretending to want a relationship - has been on the rise during scam. In both andthe amount of money lost to romance fraud outstripped that stolen by online shopping fraud, according to Action Fraud, which is the main reporting body in the UK. Victims of romance scams lose money via money transfers, and sending fraudsters gift cards and vouchers or presents such as phones and laptops.

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Some even provide access to their dating or scam card. Fraudsters can be very convincing, using emotive language and stories to manipulate people, for instance saying they need money for dating bills. And increasingly, victims are at risk of prosecution as well as having their bank emptied - as it is revealed that some scammers are now asking them to unwittingly launder money for criminal gangs. Like Anna not her real name who is in her 50s and a widow: she became scam to her scammer — who called himself Tim — after meeting him on a dating website, initially using its chat facility before switching to WhatsApp.

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After a few weeks, Tim told Anna he was travelling to Romania to work on a transport project, and asked her to send money. Romance fraud often starts on online dating websites but quickly datings to social media or scam texting, so there is no evidence of the scam.

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Sometimes the scammer is more subtle than just asking for money, seeking instead to garner personal information, which can later be used to commit identity fraud. Many victims do not report romance scams because they are embarrassed or ashamed.

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But for those who do, there is some recourse. In banks agreed to a voluntary code which said that if someone "has taken reasonable care and has any element of vulnerability" they are more likely to receive a refund. Romance fraudsters 'preying on lonely' in lockdown.

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Organisations warned people to be vigilant ahead of Valentine's Day. Lockdown loneliness exploited Women often victims. The advice suggests:.

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The Covid pandemic has added to the problem. Money laundering.

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Identity fraud. According to data from Lloyds Bank, people aged 55 to 64 are particularly at risk.

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In Anna's case for example, she was able to recover half of what she lost. More on this story.

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Published 9 November Published 20 October

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