Dating or romance fraud is when you think you’ve met your perfect partner online, but they aren’t who they say they are.
Once they’ve gained your trust, they ask for money for a variety of emotive reasons.
The majority of initial contact occurs online, with half of the victims being scammed after a visit to a website (usually a dating website), though forums, chat rooms and emails are also commonly used. After initial contact is made the fraudster will move to telephone and private email to make frequent contact. It is not uncommon for fraudsters to maintain a number of relationships at the same time using a variety of personas.
Once the fraudsters are confident that the victim is involved emotionally, they will raise a problem they are experiencing and ask for money to help. Common stories used are that a family member is ill and needs medical treatment or that the offender wants to arrange a visit and needs money for travel and visa costs.