• Agnes Okpeh

Action Fraud issues warning over scammers as Valentine's Day approaches


Lovers of romance are being warned to watch out for scammers as Valentine's Day approaches.


Recent reports from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) show that there has been a spike of 901 recorded cases of romance fraud last year.


In 2021, the bureau, which sits alongside Action Fraud within the City of London Police, recorded 901 reports of romance fraud, which is reported to be heightened amidst Christmas and valentine’s day.

An Action Fraud poster


Romance fraud is defined as scams often involve tricking people into sending money to criminals who desperately try to gain their trust and convince them that they are in a genuine relationship”.


Family members of online daters are being encouraged to help their relatives from becoming a target of romance fraud, with new figures emerging that nearly £92 million has been lost through dating frauds alone according to City of London, action fraud.


Chief Superintendent Matt Bradford, from the city of London police is urging family members who think their relatives are dating online to be aware of the warning signs.


He says: “Typically, romance fraudsters will spend weeks gaining their victims’ trust, feeding them fabricated stories about who they are and their lives - and initially make no suggestion of any desire to ask for any money, so the victim may believe their new love interest is genuine.”


City of London Police issued their advice on what people can do to protect each other:

  • Try to encourage your friends and families to ensure they have enough privacy settings on their social media accounts to ensure strangers do not have access to personal information.

  • Stay in regular contact with your friends and family who are online dating to help spot any changes in behaviour or things that do not seem right.

  • Make friends and family aware of the signs of romance fraud so that they are aware of the tactics that fraudsters use.

  • Encourage people to report to Action Fraud and the police if they have become a victim of romance fraud and reassure them to not feel embarrassed when doing so.


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