ANZIO Digital Warning Over Dating Scams

by Patricia Montgomery, LincsMag Writer.
Date: 14 March 2012

Warning Over Dating Scams - Lincolnshire Magazine -

A Horncastle Police Officer is warning people to be wary of 'romance fraud' after his elderly neighbour fell victim to the cruel scam.

Dating or romance fraud is when you think you’ve met your perfect partner online, but they aren’t who they say they are.

In fact, you have probably been in contact with several members of an organised criminal gang.


Once the fraudsters are confident that you have enough sympathy and desire for them, they will tell you about a problem they are experiencing and ask you to help out by sending money.

They may say they have arranged to visit you but need money to pay travel costs, visa costs etc or they’ve paid for a plane ticket which is then stolen.

Alternatively, they might claim that a family member or someone else they are responsible for is ill and they need money for medical treatment.

Once you send them money, the fraudsters will keep coming back with more reasons to send them money.

A Shocking Case

PC Kev Barber was off duty when he learned that an elderly lady living near him had been targeted by a fraudster.

"The scammer had convinced her that he was a decorated American serviceman serving abroad in Afghanistan”, explained PC Barber. “He had sent her photos of a handsome man in uniform but alarm bells rang for me when I noticed that the rank of his uniform didn’t fit with the name and rank he had given her. It transpired that she had already sent him a considerable amount of money and had just wired a further transaction of £35000. I immediately alerted the money wiring service to the scam but it is usually too late once the money has gone. By a stroke of luck in this case, the victim had mistakenly entered one digit wrong on the account number so the £35000 was able to be returned to her".

Research led by the University of Leicester suggests that over 200,000 people living in Britain may have fallen victim to online romance or dating scams. The crime is often not reported as people are embarrassed at having been duped.

Action Fraud

Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud reporting centre where you should report fraud if you have been scammed or defrauded. Run by the National Fraud Authority – the government agency that helps to co-ordinate the fight against fraud in the UK - they provide a central point of contact for information about fraud and financially motivated internet crime.

Action Fraud identified 592 victims of this crime between 2010 and 2011, with 203 of the victims losing over £5000. That is a lot of money and shows how serious the crime is!

Advice on how to protect yourself from dating scams and warning signs to look out for are available on their website HERE!

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