Nearly a third of adults have been targeted by romance scams as number of cases soars | #DatingScams | #LoveScams | #RomanceScans

One in three people have been targeted by romance con artists, research finds.

The number of reported cases of this type of scam has soared in recent years, with 31 per cent of adults being approached by tricksters, according to a survey by Santander.

This sophisticated trick involves fraudsters luring their prey into a trusting online relationship, often via social media, then extorting them for cash.

Victims typically lose an average of £2,331 to scammers. Banks say these types of scammers stole £31.3 million in 2022, but Action Fraud believes the true figure is closer to £95 million a year.

Chris Ainsley, Santander’s head of fraud risk, says: ‘It’s important to ask yourself whether the romance is real, particularly when finances come up.

‘As well as being guarded against sweet-talk, never sending money to someone you’ve only just met and checking in with a trusted friend or family before making any payments can also help protect you.’

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