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Romance Scams: Cyber Safe Advice

What are the risks of romance scams, and how can you protect yourself against them?

Romance Scams

The Risks of Scams

  • Fraud, when people appeal to your better nature to help them out of an 'unfortunate situation' by sending money.
  • Phishing emails claiming to be from an online dating site and encouraging you to divulge personal information.
  • Being defrauded by using websites posing as authentic dating sites.
  • Potential theft of your money if you do not use a secure link when making payments.

Using dishonest dating sites which:

  • Set up fake profiles where the person you are talking to is actually employed by the site to keep you hanging on ... and paying money.
  • Stop sending you contacts and messages as soon as you have paid the fee to receive them.

TOP TIPS For Dating Safely Online

  • Get to know the person, not the profile and ask plenty of questions - don’t rush into a relationship.
  • Check the person is genuine by putting their name, profile pictures or any repeatedly used phrases and the term ‘dating scam’ into a search engine. Simply right click on an image, and select 'Search Google for image'. Or try Reverse image searching online to find photos that have been taken from somewhere else
  • Talk to your friends & family about your dating choices. Be wary of anyone who tells you not to tell others about them.
  • Never send money to someone you’ve met online, no matter what reason they give or how long you've been speaking to them.
  • Don’t move the conversation off the dating site messenger until you’re confident the person is who they say they are.

Anyone who has been affected by online romance scams or any other online crime can receive advice and support from Warwickshire Victim Support.

For more information, please visit the Online Dating Association website.

Other Concerns of Online Dating

  • Personal safety when meeting someone in person who you met online.
  • Stalking and harassment.
  • People masquerading as somebody who they are not.
  • Webcam blackmail, where fraudsters record things you may do in front of your webcam then use the recording to extort money.