Online Dating Scams Claim 200,000 Victims | #datingscams | #lovescams

The victims often remain silent about the crimes because they are too upset or embarrassed to seek help.

According to the Serious Organised Crime Agency

(Soca), romance fraud is organised crime, usually operating from

outside the UK. Their investigations have seen people defrauded of sums

ranging from £50 to £240,000.

Criminal groups make

initial contact with potential victims online, and then try to move the

“relationship” away from the monitored website before carrying out

their sting.

Researchers at Leicester and Westminster universities, in the first major study into online

dating scams, discovered more than 200,000 Britons have been directly affected by online

scams, while over a million people personally know the victim of the


Professor Monica Whitty from the University of Leicester

said: “Our data suggests that the numbers of British victims of this

relatively new crime is much higher than reported incidents would


Researchers questioned 2000 people through an online YouGov survey.

Action Fraud, the reporting and advice centre run by the National Fraud Authority, identified 592 victims of the scams between 2010-11. Of these, 203 lost sums of more than £5,000.


this new study confirms suspicions that the scale of the problem is

much bigger, because victims are too ashamed to report the crime.


is our view that the trauma caused by this scam is worse than any

other, because of the ‘double hit’ experienced by the victims – loss of

monies and a ‘romantic relationship’,” Professor Whitty said.



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