Romance scam victims warned they could be tricked into committing insurance fraud | #DatingScams | #LoveScams | #RomanceScans

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) has issued a warning about a new twist on romance scams.

Victims may be pressured to make fake insurance claims, with criminals banking the payout. The scam often starts with small claims and then increases over time, trapping victims in a criminal funding cycle.

Committing insurance fraud is a serious crime and can result in being added to the Insurance Fraud Register (IFR) for five years. The IFR is a database of known insurance fraudsters, checked by insurers when people take out a new policy.

This could lead to increased premiums or even refusal of coverage, potentially leaving people unable to drive or find work. This type of fraud is often linked with other, more serious crimes, according to the IFB.

Shelley Comb, IFB intelligence and investigations manager, warned: “Being convicted of insurance fraud can have life-changing consequences; don’t risk it all to line someone’s pocket.”

In other romance scam news, Which? has issued an urgent warning to all men in their twenties, after police data suggested that more and more young men are falling for online dating scams. Commonly known as catfishing, these scams see online fraudsters pose as fake profiles on popular dating sites and social media platforms to make a connection with unsuspecting victims.

They then spend weeks or months grooming a victim, before asking for ‘help’ or suggesting that the person on the other side of the computer or phone invests in a lucrative investment ‘opportunity’. However, this is all too often a con to drain the victim’s bank account.

A recent report by UK Finance detailed how bank customers lost £18.5million to romance scams between January and June 2023, with a total of 2,120 cases reported. This was up by 26% when compared to the same timeframe a year earlier.

Most of the dating scam reports came from males (48 per cent), with men between the ages of 20 and 209-years-old filing the most reports in total (1,200). However, the average loss tends to be higher for females according to the consumer champions – £13,000 to a man’s £7,400. Read more about these cruel scams here.

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National Cyber Security