Nationwide issues warning to people with ‘under £1,000 to £10k’ in bank account | #whatsapp | #lovescams | #phonescams

Romance scams with male victims rose 40 per cent between 2022 and 2023, according to Nationwide’s customer data. However, women are likely to lose more to love scams: average loss of £10,610 versus £8,181 for men in 2023.

Nationwide found 20 per cent of romance scam cases reported by men in 2023 involved victims aged 20-30 years old. Nationwide’s Scam Checker Service enables customers to check and protect a payment first, the UK’s biggest building society says.

Jim Winters, Nationwide’s Director of Economic Crime, said: “Criminals can be very convincing and persuasive enough to get someone looking for love or feeling lonely to give them their trust, personal details and ultimately their money, even when they haven’t actually met each other in person.”

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Overall, half of romance scam cases reported to Nationwide last year involved a reported loss of under £1,000. This is because romance scams tend to start with a lower payment value as the scammer looks to build trust with the victim. As trust and confidence builds, so does the payment value. A quarter (25%) of cases involve claims for £1,000 to £5,000, while a further 25 per cent involve higher reported sums (over £5,000).

Winters went on: “Our data shows all ages can be a target of romance scams as criminals will cast their net far and wide to stand the best chance of snaring a victim. This is why everyone looking for love, regardless of age or gender, needs to protect their wallet as well as their hearts by looking out for any red flags.

“Be curious, ask questions and involve family and friends who have your best interests at heart. Education is the biggest deterrent to scams.” In a warning online, Nationwide encourages customers to “keep your conversations on trustworthy apps and websites”.

“Research the people you meet online,” it adds. “Run it by friends and family and be wary of how they talk to you.” The building society also adds “Do not let money come into your online relationship.” It called for customers to ask whether there are any red flags, including whether scammers are using real photos or photos too good to be true, whether they are available or remote, whether they are financially stable or in crisis, and whether they are generic or endearing.

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