Mon 20 May 2019

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Report the online romance fraudsters

Alert message sent 15/05/2019 15:08:00

Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police


15/05/2019



Report the online romance 'fraudsters'
Sussex Police is encouraging victims of romance fraud to report the 'fraudster' who has targeted them, anonymously, via an online form.
The force has linked up with Scamalytics who have produced a form which, once completed free of charge, will be sent to genuine dating services for them to check against their users’ data to detect suspected romance fraudsters.
Romance fraud is a fast growing issue which affects both men and women. Fraudsters will prey on their victims by building, what feels like, a loving relationship before asking for money to help with a problem they are experiencing.
Once the initial payment is made, the fraudster will normally ask for more money or cut all contact with the victim.
Reports made to Action Fraud reveal that £50,766,602 was lost to romance fraud in 2018 – an average of £11,145 per victim and a 27% increase on the previous year.
PC Bernadette Lawrie, BEM, the Sussex Police Financial Abuse Safeguarding officer, said: “Romance fraud, accounts for 10% of all vulnerable victim fraud reports across our counties and is one of the most despicable crimes we see due to the devastating and lasting impact it has on victims going far beyond the financial loss.
“Victims are targeted and exploited when they are at their most vulnerable and the complex tactics and deceitful tales that lure the victims into parting with such huge sums of money are quite astonishing.
“One of the most difficult conversations we have is telling a victim that not only will they not see their money come back but that the person they believe they are in a relationship with and are looking forward to a future with, is in fact a criminal posing under a false identity.”
Advice tips for evading scammers are:
  • Be wary of giving out personal information

  • Never agree to keep your online relationship a secret

  • Get to know the person and not the profile

  • Never send money or share your bank details on the platform

  • Stay on the dating messenger service until confident the person is who they say they are

  • Run a search on the internet for their name or any picture they have sent along with the term ‘scam’

For more information on romance fraud and how to report via the  Scamalytics form please copy and paste this link into your browser: https://www.sussex.police.uk/romance-fraud



 
 

Help us keep Sussex safe

Seen something suspicious or have information about a crime or incident? Please contact us online, email us at 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101.

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org
 
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Lee Melbourne (Police, Prevention Support & Engagement Officer, Sussex)

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