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However, the actual number of crimes is thought to be considerably higher, with victims not reporting them owing to embarrassment.Almost two thirds (62%) of all victims are aged between 40-69 accounting for £16 million of the total losses.Some scammers induce victims to share personal information or images and then threaten to post or distribute them to the friends, family members, and employers if the victim refuses to pay.The Attorney General’s Office encourages people to exercise an appropriate level of caution when looking for a relationship online and to be careful about sharing personal information and photos with people they have never met.This leaves many victims not only embarrassed but also in financial distress.It is important for online users to be on the look-out for online dating and romance scams.However, it doesn’t hurt to place a little more caution when using these sites to start talking to someone, just as you would if you met a stranger in a bar or at a party.
Con artists share information about victims and may target victims more than once.
People aged between 50-59 are the most likely victims accounting for a quarter of all frauds and losing just over £6 million.those aged between 40-49 accounted for less of the reported fraud, (22%) overall losses were greater at £8 million.
Almost two thirds (64%) of all romance scams orinignated on dating sites, followed by social media (25%) and 10% via email.
Some scam artists use bogus profiles to con the people they meet out of hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Criminals who perpetrate online dating and romance scams use emotional appeals to quickly gain their victims’ trust and then, just as quickly, exploit it.