Romance fraud alert as reports up almost 60% | #datingscams | #lovescams | #facebookscams

A woman from Brighton has spoken of being “lured” by a scammer as figures reveal reports of romance fraud have risen by almost 60% over four years.

There were 7,660 cases processed in England and Wales by a self-reporting tool last year, up from 4,842 in 2019, data obtained by the BBC shows.

Mary Chater, who fell for a fraudster on Facebook who claimed to be a UN doctor, said: “Being called babe, baby, sweetheart, lured me right in.”

The government said fraud was falling.

Ms Chater, aged 65, was contacted more than two years after the death of her husband, actor Julian Curry, who appeared in the television comedy-drama Rumpole of the Bailey.

“I was approached by someone who called himself Dani. He said he was a trauma surgeon working for the UN in Somalia,” she said.

“He looked like the spitting image of a man I had a holiday romance with years ago. I liked the fact he spent his life helping others, the altruism attracted me to him.”

But the scammer soon started making financial demands, claiming he was funding research into his trauma work.

Despite attempts to send money, Ms Chater’s bank intervened and stopped a series of payments.

She said ‘Dani’ was using an image of Christian Gerhard Boving, the identity of a real family doctor in Denmark.

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