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Most dating scams stem from online dating websites or forums, whereby victims are duped by criminals using fake personal profiles.
The clues that your online date may be a fraudster include: they want to communicate with you through instant messaging and texts, rather than through the dating website or chat room where you met; they ask you lots of questions about yourself but don’t tell you much about themselves; they quickly start calling you by a pet name or use endearing terms such as ‘darling’; they don’t answer basic questions about where they live and work; their profile picture is too perfect – for example they look like an actor or Miss World titleholder; they start asking you to send them money using a number of different scenarios such as - they’ve arranged to visit you but need money to pay travel costs.
Use your own transportation rather than someone’s personal vehicle on a first date. Tell a friend or family member about your plans and when you will return.
Arrange to check in with them after each of the first few dates.
Be cautious when sharing personal information that could reveal your identity.
In some cases fraudsters spend months and years building trust before spinning a sob story and requesting large amounts of cash.
They’re very, very good at pushing emotional triggers.
In one high profile case in September, two men were convicted of scamming 12 women out of nearly £250,000 via a dating website, one of whom lost £174.000.
In Australia this year some 43 people have lost more than 0,000 each through on-line dating fraud.