Police warn against ‘romance fraud’ on Valentine’s Day

Police are warning online daters to watch out for so-called 'romance fraud' Picture: GETTY IMAGES/IS

Police are warning online daters to watch out for so-called 'romance fraud' Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Officers in Essex have advised people to “swipe left” on Valentine’s Day to protect themselves from so-called ‘romance fraud’.

Essex police took to social media to share the message from Action Fraud, the National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre.

The warning states: “Don’t let your heart rule your head: never send money to or share your bank details with someone you’ve met online #fauxmance.”

On its website, Action Fraud encourages people to watch out for fake dating profile and avoid giving away too many personal details online.

It defines ‘romance fraud’ as: “When you think you’ve met the perfect partner through an online dating website or app, but the other person is using a fake profile to form a relationship with you.

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“They’re using the site to gain your trust and ask you for money or enough personal information to steal your identity.”

Dating site users can stay safe by picking reputable sites with dedicated messaging services, and keeping their full name, date of birth and home address to themselves.

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Online daters should also avoid sending money or sharing bank details, no matter how convincing the other person may be.

Action Fraud adds: “It can be embarrassing to feel tricked into thinking you’ve formed a relationship online, but if you tell us we can take a report in confidence. Report it to us online or call 0300 123 2040.”

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