How to protect yourself from online dating scams

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If something goes wrong, you might feel too ashamed or embarrassed to act, but you must. It’s not just the financial loss, it’s also the emotional turmoil. The process varies between websites, for instance has a ‘Report this profile’ option.

If you are a victim of dating fraud report it to Action Fraud.

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After meeting someone online, the IC3 said to run a reverse image search on their photo.

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[Read more: Why you should always report suspicious calls, emails and texts] The anonymity of the internet allows people to hide facets of their personality, from a relatively harmless lie about weight, to lies about financial problems and even creating a fake persona – this is called catfishing.

Currently, one of the most popular scams involves someone pretending to be in the military.

They tell you they're on deployment, they gain your trust, then ask for money so they can finally come home.

Some 3,889 online dating-related fraud incidents were reported, resulting in a record loss of £39m.

Commander Chris Greany, the Police National Coordinator for Economic Crime at City of London Police, said criminals target those who they consider vulnerable and more likely to fall for scams: “Our intelligence tells us that people aged 50-59 are the most likely to become a victim of dating fraud and therefore need to be especially careful when going online in search of a partner.” Follow our tips to discover the danger of online dating and how to protect yourself.

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