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Watch out for new methods used by dating fraudsters

15th September 2014

Our contact centre has received reports from victims of dating scammers using tactics that have previously been unheard of.

Dating fraudsters form online relationships with individuals over weeks and months and then make a request for money when they feel they have established enough trust.

Our contact centre has logged some new methods used by fraudsters to watch out for. 

Annual leave

Fraudsters are now saying that they do not have enough annual leave left to come and visit victims who they have been speaking with online.

However, they claim they can buy leave from their employer, (American Military or an engineering company etc). That leave will cost around £250 per day so 10 days will cost £2,500. If the victim falls for this they also ask them to pay for the flight.  

Stuck in customs

Fraudsters claim they have found a box containing gold, silver, money and jewels (or any one of them) in the desert and have sent it out of the country to set up a future together with the victim. 

However this box is now stuck in (x) country’s customs. In order to release it they claim they have to pay a customs release fee - which is then requested from the victim. 

Protect yourself against dating fraud

  • Trust your instincts. If you think something feels wrong, it probably is.
  • Always guard your privacy online and be careful about what information you share.
  • Never send money or give credit card or online account details to anyone you don’t know and trust.
  • Communicate with people locally and not from overseas, although you should be aware that someone might tell you they are in the same country as you when they are not.
  • Never reply to communications from someone who you meet on a dating site/chat room or social networking website that then wants continue the communication by email.
  • 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.

If you are a victim of dating fraud you can call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool and receive a police crime reference number.