Online dating fraudsters con lonely Brits out of £27 million

A STAGGERING £27million has been conned out of lonely Brits looking for love online in the past year.
Fraudsters are increasingly targeting victims through dating websites to hand over hard cash.

And now dating experts have revealed the UK hotspots where singletons are most likely to be hit in the pocket.

Londoners experienced the most heartbreak with more than 700 cases reported.
But Hampshire and Essex were next on the hit list with 267 and 247 cases.

High-profile cases include a businesswoman who as conned out of £1.6million.

The single mother from Hillingdon, north-west London, believed she was funding hospital bills, a project in Benin and releasing an inheritance.
But it was a trap set up in the form of a dating profile by Ife Oko and Olusegun Agbaje to steal her cash.

Ojo, 31, from Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, received a 34-month jail term in January after the pair admitted conspiracy to defraud.

Agbaje, 43, from Hornchurch, Essex, was jailed for 32 months.
Dating expert and author Munir Bello said: “In the Home Counties people are less aware of these scams making them more vulnerable.

“Combine that with the reduced choice in the dating pool due to smaller population size and it’s easier to manipulate their hopes if you seem like a good catch.

“If you’ve not gone on a date or even if you have, don’t be so keen to hand over your life savings.

“Wait till the pheromones wear off and take a deep breath.”
Brits from Kent and Surrey had almost as many cases as singletons in Greater Manchester.

But there were only 192 fraud cases in Scotland and 52 in Northern Ireland.

Detective superintendent Pete O’Doherty, of City of London Police, said: “Dating fraudsters are heartless criminals who mostly operate online to manipulate their victims into believing they’ve established a strong emotional bond.

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