Pin It's Valentine's Day, and that means couples will fill restaurants, forgetful partners will run to the shops for last-minute gifts, and you might see a proposal or two pop up on your newsfeed. This time of year might not be your favourite if you're single. However, with online dating sites and mobile apps it couldn't be easier to look for love — and this is something that's not gone unnoticed by fraudsters.
To make sure your online relationship doesn't end in heartbreak, we're taking you through how to stay safe when looking for love online. The number of crimes might be higher as some victims might not report it out of embarrassment.
She signed up to dating site Match. He said he was working in Turkey, and persuaded her to move their chat off the dating website to an instant messaging service. From there, the two began exchanging messages. Before he was set to fly to the UK to meet her, he said he was mugged in Turkey and unable to pay his workers.
He also said his son was in hospital and needed surgery. After making several payments to him, the victim is now facing bankruptcy. How to stay safe Most victims of online dating fraud have a similar cautionary tale. To help you know what to look out for when you first meet, watch out for these signs. Once you've established a relationship, you should look out for the following signs.
A sob story is the easiest way for a fraudster to gain your sympathy, as it's not something that most people would question. You should trust your instincts in this situation, if something doesn't feel right or sound it , it probably isn't. You should pick a dating website or app that lets you protect your anonymity until you decide to reveal personal information about yourself.
Do not give out your personal details such as your phone number on dating sites. If you get to the stage where you're going to meet them, do so in a safe public place. You should tell a family member or friend where you'll be.