What are the warning signs for romance fraud?
Fraudsters will use clever psychological tricks to gain the confidence and affections of legitimate site users including:
- Being very attentive - ensuring there is regular, often daily contact via the internet
- When the trust has been gained they begin to ask for money
- They may tell their victim that there has been a crisis; typically this is abroad and that they need money for flights to visit an ill relative, or to pay for their urgent treatment
- They may say that they are being held hostage and need to meet the demands of their captors
- In some cases they entice their victims with financial rewards, e.g. a small investment is guaranteed to double their return
- Money is often requested to be transferred via a money gram service rather than through a personal account to disguise the identity of the receiver