11 Feb 2020

Romance Scams

Lancashire ConstabularyWith Valentines Day only a few days away, we would like to make you aware of a type of scam which is common at not only this time of year, but throughout the year too.

Romance Fraud is when a fraudster impersonates someone using a fake profile to form a relationship with the victim. The scam generally takes place online via a dating website or an app. The fraudster will build rapport with the victim online and when they’ve won their trust, they will tell the victim about a problem they’re experiencing and ask the victim to help them out by sending money. Common stories used are that the fraudster will need money for a flight ticket, medical treatment or even annual leave. Once the victim sends money once, the fraudster will keep coming back and invent new reasons to coerce the victim to send more.

Whilst there are obvious advantages of using online dating, there are a number of points to follow to keep yourself safe

– Choose a username that doesn’t let everyone know who you are
– Keep contact details private, such as email address, home address and phone number
– Check that the profile you are talking to is genuine by putting their name or profile picture into search engines
– Get to know the person, not the profile. Ask lots of questions and don’t let your heart rule your head.
– Never send money or your bank details to someone you’ve met online, no matter how convincing the reason they give for needing it

Online Dating can bring convenience and joy, but please use it safely and securely this Valentines Day and throughout the year.

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