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The male profile is in his late 40s (48 is the most common age) with a high income.He presents himself as a widower, with a degree and of average height (5’10”).But just as dating app users are at an all-time high, so is the number of people becoming victims of online dating fraud.A new report by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has found that last year, singles were conned out of £39 million by fraudsters they’d met on dating sites and apps.Not long after, Jane discovered an ex-colleague nearby had been scammed by the same man at the same time and she’d had a very lucky escape.So what can you do to avoid being a victim of an online dating scam?
Nancy*, a 47-year-old single mother from North Yorkshire was conned out of over £350,000 that way: “I wasn't comfortable, and then I got so far in I couldn't get myself out, and I didn't want to walk away having lost £50,000 or what-have-you, so you keep going in the hope that you're wrong and this person is genuine,” she explained to the BBC.
But she was feeling vulnerable after the breakdown of her marriage and agreed to transfer him a smaller amount, despite admitting it sounded “crazy”.
It was only when her money transfer was blocked due to a security alert around the man’s name that she realised something was wrong.
She presents herself as a student, also with a degree and no interest in politics.
She is 5’6”, has never been married, and has long brown hair and blue eyes.