Fraudsters are using dating websites to scam vulnerable victims – police have warned.
The scammers set up fake profiles, often pretending to be women, to lure in others.
After building up what seems like a trusting relationship and winning the victim’s confidence the fraudsters will then claim they are experiencing a problem and ask for money to help.
Once they’ve found someone who falls for their trick, the fraudsters will keep coming back to them and inventing more reasons for them to send money.
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “The majority of accounts on dating websites are genuine people looking for romance, but fraudsters are also using these sites to contact victims.
“They create fake profiles, make contact with others on the site and build what feels like a loving relationship.”
What can I do to avoid falling victim to this scam?
Staffordshire Police have issued the following advice.
•Never give money to people you meet online, no matter what emotional story the person uses.
•Avoid giving away too many personal details when dating online. Revealing your full name, date of birth and home address may lead to your identity being stolen.
•Never send or receive money or give away your bank details to someone you’ve only met online, no matter how much you trust them or believe their story.