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Fake profiles on dating websites

A Which? survey has revealed that 2 in 5 people have discovered fake dating profiles online, and 1 in 5 have been asked for money by someone they have been contacting.

Online Dating

1 in 4 UK adults have used dating website at some point, so it is important to be aware of the risks. Romance fraudsters gain your trust over time online and then ask for money for a variety of emotive reasons, which often include:

  • Needing money to pay for travel costs, visas etc. Or paying for a plane ticket which is then stolen at the last minute.
  • A family member or someone else they are responsible for is ill and they need money for urgent medical treatment.

Online protection advice from Which?

  • If you think a profile is fake, check the website for details on reporting it. Usually there will be links or buttons on profiles to block or report individuals.
  • Be careful about the information you share with anyone you meet online. This not only includes credit card details and where you bank, but also your pets’ names or your mother's maiden name, as these could be used against you to access financial information.
  • Do not wire money to anybody. As there is no audit trail, it is effectively the same as handing over cash.
  • If you are victim of this type of scam report it to us immediately.

For further information please visit the Which? website.

Please note that Action Fraud is not responsible for the content of external websites.

To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.

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