Online fraud statistics reached record highs over lockdown as more and more of us were spending the majority of our time online.
Unfortunately, one of the most prominent and upsetting scams to emerge has been romance fraud.
It involves tricking victims into believing they have met a genuine love interest on sites like Twitter and Instagram.
Techshielder has analysed international and domestic reports to find the place you are most likely to fall victim to a dating scam, as well as the monetary loss per victim.
The UK has hit the top places in the world for scams but of all the regions, Scotland’s average loss is significantly less.
The unknowing victim of a love scam is eventually asked for money before realising it’s a malicious scam.
Because of the humiliating impact on victims, they are less likely to report it but according to Police Scotland figures 52 reports were made in 2020 and over half (54%) were made by women.
Victims were most likely to be between the ages of 30-39 but the reports came from individuals between the ages of 20 and 70.
It’s easy to think that vulnerable or older people are the main targets of scammers, but children between the ages of 0 – 9 have also been victims of romance scams, they account for 0.22% of reports in the UK.
£87,600 is the overall amount lost to romance scams in Scotland with the average sitting at £1,684.62 per victim.
But it’s those living in London that account for the highest number of reports in the UK and the biggest amount of money loss overall.
14% of the victims described were Londoners, and they have recorded a £7.2 million loss overall — that works out to be over £10,300 loss per victim.
Gloucestershire has the highest average loss per victim at £24,638.
North Wales follows behind as the second-highest and Gwent finishes off the top three with £18,966 and £14,257 respectively.
Globally the UK is 4th in the world behind Canada, Nigeria and top-ranked Phillippines for the number of reported scams.
The figures suggest that despite other countries reporting more scams the UK has the biggest losses and is the most profitable for scammers.
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