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Crooks con £55,000 a day out of lonely hearts in lockdown

Crooks con £55,000 a day out of lonely hearts in lockdown

Romance fraudsters are stealing more than £50,000 a day during an online dating boom in lockdown.There was a 20 per cent jump in the number of victims

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Romance fraudsters are stealing more than £50,000 a day during an online dating boom in lockdown.

There was a 20 per cent jump in the number of victims caught out by these types of scams last year, figures from trade body UK Finance reveal.

A total of £18.5 million was pocketed by the crooks between January and November last year, or £55,000 a day. The average victim lost £7,850.

There was a 20 per cent jump in the number of victims caught out by these types of scams last year, figures from trade body UK Finance reveal

There was a 20 per cent jump in the number of victims caught out by these types of scams last year, figures from trade body UK Finance reveal

There was a 20 per cent jump in the number of victims caught out by these types of scams last year, figures from trade body UK Finance reveal

Romance scammers hide behind fake identities and charm victims into thinking they are in a genuine relationship.

But the fraudsters then ask for money, often giving spurious reasons such as paying for urgent medical care, travelling costs so they can visit, or an investment opportunity they have heard about.

They also manipulate victims into sending presents such as gift cards, phones and laptops.

Action Fraud has estimated that once these expenses are taken into account, the true cost to victims last year was more than £68 million.

Soaring numbers of single people have been using online dating apps because of social distancing rules.  

More than 2.3 million people in the UK used the apps to look for love during the first lockdown, according to figures from the Online Dating Association.

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This post first appeared on Dailymail.co.uk

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