According to police, such fraud increased by 16 per cent in 2014-15, with recorded losses of more than £33 million.Judith Lathlean, a 67-year-old, Oxford-educated professor, made headlines in December last year when she courageously revealed how she had paid £140,000 to a man she met on a dating site (but never met face to face).(It is estimated that only 15 percent of fraud victims report their losses to law enforcement, so the real numbers are probably higher.)As one result, fear of a horrible first date is just one of the things a would-be online dater has to worry about.According to the Consumer Reports 2016 Online Dating Survey of more than 114,000 subscribers, among the respondents who were considering online dating but were hesitant, 46 percent said they were concerned about being scammed. Romance scams really can happen to anyone.“Most people think the victims are middle-aged women who can't get a date, but I have worked with men and women of all ages—doctors and lawyers, CEOs of companies, people from the entertainment industry—who you’d never think in a million years would fall for these scams but do,” says Barb Sluppick, who runs romancescams.org, a watchdog site and online support group.“Typically the scammer builds trust by writing long letters over weeks or months and crafting a whole persona for their victims,” says Unit Chief David Farquhar from the Financial Crimes Section of the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) who specializes in cyber-related crimes.(Consumer Reports)--In mid December the Department of Justice announced that seven men—six from Nigeria and one from South Africa—pled guilty to conning tens of millions of dollars from Americans via online dating sites.While the case was remarkable for its magnitude, when it comes to so-called “romance scams,” it still represents just the tip of the iceberg.These fake online daters are referred to as “catfish,” and in many cases, they’re looking to make money.Financial losses from these scams totaled over 3 million in losses in 2015.
Maria and Andrew seemed to hit it off and began planning a road trip for that summer when Andrew would come back to the U. Andrew sent Maria a check for ,000 to cover the cost of their trip, but then suddenly asked her to send ,500 back to him because he needed money for rent after being laid off from his job.A recent study indicates that up to 10 percent of Americans use online dating websites or mobile applications.As the number of people looking to meet new people online grows, so does the opportunity for fraud.Whether you’re using an app or a dating site, there are steps that you should take to differentiate a potential match from a fraud.Online dating has made subterfuge easy, making sweetheart scams difficult to detect.