Santander has teamed up with dating guru Anna Williamson to warn of the ‘love language’ to look out for as romance scammers hit on a third of Brits.
As part of the initiative Santander has created ‘Love Hurts’ sweets containing the key phrases used by romance scammers to reel in their victims.
New research from Santander shows almost a third (31%) of Brits have been targeted by a romance scammer. UK Finance data shows cases increased last year with £31.3 million worth of romance scams reported in 2022, up from £30.9 million in 2021, and up from £17.8 million in 2020.
More than four in five Brits (83%) 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.
Chris Ainsley, head of fraud risk management at Santander says: “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.
Santander’s research also reveals victims lost £2,331.50 on average to scammers. The impact of being scammed left four in five (81%) saying they had been put off dating and meeting new people, while two thirds (67%) have struggled to trust a romantic partner.
Anna Williamson, TV presenter and relationship expert adds: “Romance fraud is manipulative and cruel. I hope Santander’s Love Hurts campaign can help educate people about the ‘love language’ to be mindful of, and stop romance scammers from bringing misery to so many people’s lives.”
The phrases featured on the Love Hurts sweets to watch out for include:
I’ve fallen for u
My £££’s frozen
I’ll pay u back
I can’t video call
We’re so alike
Only u can help
We’ll be married
U know me
Soz, I’m abroad