Clever romance scammers’ sweet-talk | Professional Security | #datingscams | #lovescams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | | #dating

Most Brits (83 per cent) who fell victim to a romance scam said it was because of the clever language used by the criminals, the way they were spoken to, or the intimate conversations they had with the scammer, according to a bank which is making an awareness campaign about such scams.

Chris Ainsley, Head of Fraud Risk Management at Santander said: “Scammers can be convincing and clever with their language, which is why we want to help people be more alert to the telltale signs of a romance scam.

“No matter how sweet a situation may seem, it’s important to think twice and ask yourself whether the romance is real, particularly when the conversation veers towards finances. As well as being guarded against sweet-talk, never sending money to people you have only just met and checking in with a trusted friend or family before making any payments, can also help protect you from potential scams.”

The firm reported that the survey it commissioned, conducted by 3GEM, of 2,000 people in the UK aged 18-plus in July found victims lost £2,331.50 on average to scammers. The impact of being scammed left four in five (81pc) saying they had been put off dating and meeting new people, while two thirds (67pc) have struggled to trust a romantic partner.

The bank advises that ways to avoid a romance scam include:

– Online friendships are based on profile. Check if the person you’re talking to is who they say they are. For example, you can check if profile photos are genuine by performing a reverse image search on a web search engine. This can find photos that have been taken from someone else.

– Be on alert if someone you’ve only met online asks you to lend them money, no matter how plausible their reason might seem. Try to remove the emotion from your decision-making and talk it through with someone else.

– never lie to your bank if they ask you questions about a payment you are making. Banks know the signs to look out for and questions are there to help protect customers.


Carl Wearn, Head of Threat Intelligence Analysis and Future Ops at the cyber firm Mimecast called it unsurprising to see that the number of romance scams has increased in recent years. He said: “Scammers are combining social engineering and multi-channel campaigns by posing as fake personalities online to find and connect with potential victims who are looking for a romantic relationship, before tricking them into giving away valuable information or credentials that can be sold for monetary gain.

“This trick is believable enough to gain credibility with targets. Usually, social engineering uses psychological manipulation to trick users into making security mistakes or giving away sensitive information. It is worrying to learn that despite the financial loss and psychological trauma caused by these scams within the digital world, victims are often reluctant to come forward as they feel they will be blamed or accused of being too naïve for being targeted by such fraudsters.

“I would urge caution on anyone who is involved in an internet-based relationship to be critically aware that any communication that takes place online – whether via email or dating app – should be heavily scrutinised and double checked for validity before taking any action on it. It is important for people to stay alert to ensure they are not duped. Individuals should try and avoid clicking on any links in electronic messages where they can and navigate ULRs to any websites via a web browser search instead to check the URL authenticity.”


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National Cyber Security