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Valentine’s Day romance scams surge during lockdown

Valentine's Day is a huge opportunity for fraudsters

The Valentine’s Day romance scams are a serious issue this year, according to UK Finance. In fact, there was a raise of 20% of romance frauds between January and November 2020, compared to 2019.

A real Valentine’s Day “gift” for criminals: £18.5 million

According to the new data released by UK Finance, there was a 20 per cent increase in this kind of fraud. Thus, the total value of these rose by 12%, to £18.5 million So, they urge the “public to be vigilant” and also keep safe the beloved ones from scams.

Moreover, they also offered numbers regarding the average loss per victim in the UK: £7,850 Still, the bank transfer was not the only way criminals tricked their victims into sending them money.

Also, Action Fraud – UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting center, received a rise in report from the public who paid £68 last year, as victims. They paid via bank transfer, money transfer or by sending gift cards, vouchers and expensive presents. Also, some of them provided fraudsters access to their bank accounts.

Advice for avoiding romance scams

Romance fraudsters use a very effective communication strategy. First of all, they manipulate their potential victims by language, so that they gain their trust as in a genuine relationship. Then they persuade them and exploit. Thus, villains request for money, without raising any alarm bells.

Fraudsters’ requests are very emotive, as they either ask victims to send money for medical care or to pay for transport costs to visit them.

As the online dating became more usual during the lockdown, this type of fraud is more common now, especially during the Valentine’s Day time. But it was an issue even before

According to the Online Dating Association, over 2.3 million people in Great Britain used dating apps, during the first lockdown. Which became a huge opportunity for cyber criminals.

So, users should always think twice before paying money or sending sensitive information to other people. Also, they should not accept any rush to act. Still, those who believe that they were scammed, should immediately contact their banks and report this.

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