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Feelings of loneliness and a desire for companionship can increase an older person’s vulnerability to fraudsters which can end in financial loss, ill health and heartache.“With a quarter of dating fraud victims in their 50s, it’s really important for older people to be aware of this kind of crime.The best thing you can do to avoid being taken in by the wrong person is tell a close friend or family member before you get too involved so that they can support you and offer advice if you’re having doubts.“We also encourage people to check our ‘date-safe tips’ before meeting a potential partner and take the time to find out if their match is genuine or not.Between 20 nearly £40 million (5) was lost through dating fraud with 3,889 reports (6) made in total.However, evidence suggests that this doesn’t accurately represent the true scale of dating fraud due to the embarrassment felt by some victims of fraud which can discourage them from coming forward to report their experience.
After the breakdown of the relationship, David was absolutely distraught and felt very alone.
Many of these fraudsters are highly sophisticated criminals so people mustn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed about it happening to them.
We would urge any older person who has, or may have been, a victim of romance fraud to speak to Action Fraud, a family member or friend.” Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online commented: "While we regularly hear good news stories about couples meeting online or via dating apps, these findings show there is an increasing problem with the number of cyber criminals out there who are looking to target vulnerable people for significant financial gain.
#datesafe tips Neil Masters, National Fraud and Cyber Crime Lead at the independent charity Victim Support, said: “Dating fraud can shatter people’s lives both financially and emotionally and we know that losing what felt like a trusting and very real relationship is often what is most difficult to come to terms with.
“We want to encourage anyone who may have been affected by this to seek help.
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"Millions of people have found their partners through online dating but if you think you suspect fraudulent behaviour, please always report it to the dating provider as well as the Police; that way we can make it even safer for all users." Anyone who is a victim of dating fraud should report to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.or by calling 03.