How to spot an online dating scammer

Scammers are drawn to dating sites because they know that the people on there are looking to make a personal connection, and they can use this to their advantage.

Victims have transferred thousands of pounds to scammers they met on dating sites, and it isn’t always easy to get that money back.

If they can’t keep their story straight, or don’t know what you’re talking about when you bring up something you’ve told them before or they’ve told you, it’s a bad sign.

Scammers don’t always work alone, and if they’ve forgotten past conversations it could be a group effort.

Often the person they thought they were talking to turn out to be using pictures of somebody else on their social media profiles, and are then dubbed a “catfish”.

The catfishing from the original documentary started on Facebook, but you can also be catfished on dating apps like Tinder, in chatrooms or even through fake video chats on Skype.

If you come across a fake profile you should report it to the dating site or social network wherever possible.

One of the scenarios that romance scammers often use is that they’re stuck abroad on a business trip and don’t have access to their bank accounts.

Scam victims frequently report being asked to send money internationally to pay for an alleged visa, only never to hear from them again.

Mark Brooks of Online Personals Watch works with many online dating sites - and says that all of them are plagued by fake profiles, scammers and criminals looking for money, not love.

A few simple steps can help ensure you don't fall for a fake...

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