Valentine’s Day inspires thoughts of love and romance all around the world. Sadly, for some, February 14th may not be the hearts and flowers filled day they had hoped for… Whether you’re looking for love or looking out for your loved ones, our top tips on spotting dating fraud are definitely worth a read!
With more and more people using the internet to find that special someone, it is increasingly important to be cyber-savvy when looking for love.
A recent study by Leicester University revealed that approximately 230,000 Britons may have fallen victim of an online dating scam. Typically, criminals will initiate a relationship through an online dating site, often creating a glamorous persona – film star looks, grand titles and high flying jobs. Once they have gained their victim’s trust they will create reasons to request large sums of money – perhaps to visit them or to pay hospital bills. In the worst cases, fraudsters will use information gained about their victim over the course of their ‘relationship’ to blackmail them. Professor Monica Whitty, who led the study said ‘It is our view that the trauma caused by this scam is worse than any other, because of the ‘double hit’ experienced by the victims – loss of monies and a ‘romantic relationship’.
Don’t be put off! With 1 in 5 relationships now starting online, you too can find love safely by looking out for the following tell-tale signs:
Your new love looks like a super model but always finds excuses not to meet
- They ask lots of questions about you but reveal nothing about themselves – allowing them to use your information to apply for credit in the future
- They rarely use your name, usually calling you by a pet name.
- Finally, perhaps the biggest giveaway – they promise you great wealth in the future but in the meantime ask you to send them large sums of money or request your card details to clear a one off debt.
Remember that with ProtectMyID membership your Experian credit report will be monitored for changes and you will be alerted to any sign of identity fraud. If you suspect that you have been a victim of fraud, then ProtectMyID’s Fraud Resolution Assistance will ensure a dedicated caseworker will work with you to help you sort everything out from start to finish.
Visit us on Facebook to watch some Ex-Factor questions being answered, and join us there between 12 and 3 on Valentine’s Day when our experts will be doing a live Q and A on the subject of how past relationships can affect your credit rating.