back to article Online daters swindled out of £33m last year – police

Folk looking for love online were left £33m worse off last year thanks to online fraudsters, according to stats released by the City of London Police and Action Fraud. In the last financial year 3,543 people reported that they had been a victim of dating fraud, with a total financial loss of £33,650,491. "Dating fraudsters …

  1. Steve Evans

    Are they including the site operators in this calculation?

    It's been long suspected, and the Ashley Mad data rather proved the point, that pay-for online dating sites are full of fake profile operated by the site owners for no other purpose than to make you part with cash so you can reply to their "Oh you looks so hot!" private messages...

    The moment cash is extracted, tumbleweeds roll in...

  2. x 7 Silver badge

    it would be interesting to see the male/female split, and also the countries involved

    1. Dadmin
      Joke

      This is a placeholder for the sexist commentatoes from the M7 article to rant about how only men get swindled online by evil other-men pretending to be women online. It's going to be good, so stay tuned, lads and ladies. I mean, only lads, surely.

      /joke

      I'm training my daughter to be a hacker, so lads, when you get your portholes probed, do be a dear and pretend it's a man doing it to you! There's a good boy!

    2. Your alien overlord - fear me

      100% blokes lost money. 100% Eastern European girls involved. Not complaining, some are probably worth the £10,000 each bloke lost.

      1. Ian Emery Silver badge

        Wrong

        Women get targeted just as often as men, and although the Russian scams make the headlines, the Nigerians are not far behind - and there are more than a few British coining it from lonely ladies.

    3. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

      From reports I've seen, it's usually women that get conned.

      Although, I'd have to say it's a fallacy to say they're 'convincing'. Bullshit. As soon as you've established some compatibility and that there are no major red flags, arrange a meeting in real life. If they ask for money, drop them. If they won't arrange a meeting, drop them and move on. No exceptions.

      It may be that using the above method you reject real people in addition to fakers, but they're wasting your time anyway, so move on regardless.

      1. x 7 Silver badge

        in many cases even the genuine ones are after money.....

        I've had relationships (short term) with a number of Thai girls and without exception the first thing they try to work out is how much you earn, so they can calculate how much of it they can send home to support their children / parents / siblings. Marry an oriental girl and you are in danger of becoming breadwinner for their whole family

  3. Number6

    I dated a woman I met off the internet. It's cost me thousands, but I guess it's my own fault because I married her. Worth every penny though...

    1. The entire Radio 1 playlist commitee

      Yeeah I nearly fell for that one

    2. x 7 Silver badge

      "Worth every penny though..."

      inscrutable these orientals.....they'll full you into believing anything

      I bet you can't remember that last hypnosis session

    3. chivo243 Silver badge

      @Number6

      I also met a woman on a dating site, and you are correct, it's costing thousands... and worth it.

      However, before I met the missus, I did meet a handful of nice women from that site, and it was a free site back then.

    4. Ian Emery Silver badge

      I feel your pain; when I started international internet dating (2004), the cost of a visa to bring her home was £50; when my oriental wife and I finally finish the process we started in 2011, the total will be nearer £10,000

      £80-odd for a citizenship ceremony on top of the thousands each visa costs is just taking the piss.

  4. Tim Jenkins

    "3,543 people... with a total financial loss of £33,650,491"

    £10K each? Damn...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I also got ripped off! Wouldn't give me a refund for the surplus 55 minutes!

  6. Youngone Silver badge
    Devil

    Police matter?

    The nasty part of me wonders if this should even be a Police matter.

    If someone from the Internet asks you for money and you hand it over, has a crime really been committed?

    You can't pretend that someone you have only conversed with through some social network is actually someone you "met".

    I suppose we have to attempt to save people from themselves.

    1. ScottAS2

      Re: Police matter?

      Yes it is a matter for the police, because it's fraud. The common law crime of fraud is committed when someone achieves a "practical result" by means of a "false pretence". Receiving money is certainly a practical result, and false pretences covers both outright falsehoods and deliberate omissions.

      There is also the crime of "uttering", where someone presents as genuine a document with the intention to cause someone prejudice. Possibly the false dating profile could be considered a document - uttering tends to be used in cases centring around a document.

      The Fraud Act 2006 created similar offences in England and Wales and Northern Ireland, too.

      1. Youngone Silver badge

        Re: Police matter?

        @ ScottAS2

        Yes, I thought there might be a very good argument against my dark side.

        I suppose there must be a fraud argument if someone is lying for money.

  7. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Nice thought...

    "This campaign will help to shatter these misconceptions and provide the public with a clearer picture, helping them to challenge possible urban myths and stop fraudsters in their tracks. The more information people have about the reality of fraud and cybercrime, the easier it will be to stop it from taking place.”

    But I think PT Barnum wins the contest for "there's a sucker born every minute". If this weren't the case, the 419 scams would have disappeared by now.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not sure how I spotted this 'tick the box' disclaimer.

    I have read the Terms & Conditions /Privacy Policy,

    I understand & accept them.

    I also agree to receive email newsletters, account updates, special offers and communications from computer generated virtual profiles, targeted to my interests, sent by XMeeting.com.

  9. Jan 0

    What's a geezer got to do?

    I'm not complaining, but how come I've only meet women online who want to get into my knickers, but have no interest in my financial assets?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Joke

      That's because that dating thing you're using is a game made in Japan, not a dating site.

    2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

      Re: What's a geezer got to do?

      Women who are after your money are easy to spot, that's why..

      Also, you've probably deleted e-mails from scammers. Why, yes, that 'god fearing' lady, and the one with pictures that looks suspiciously like a model/porn star must be real.

  10. Ian Emery Silver badge
    Boffin

    From an expert

    As a seasoned international dater I will pass on the rules.

    Dont send them money.

    Dont fall in love with a photo.

    Dont send them money.

    Meet them in their home city/town/village.

    Dont send them money.

    10 minutes video-chat is worth a years worth of emails.

    DONT SEND THEM MONEY.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And before the internet

    The same thing went on via snail mail or phone calls.

    preying on the sad and lonely (lets face it, you must be if you cant visit a different town / city when you've exhausted the local selection) is just as easy as preying on the elderly / vulnerable...

    we just think it's a laugh when it's not the elderly / vulnerable

  12. x 7 Silver badge

    £10,000?

    for that you could have 100 sessions with a mixture of beautiful young Romanian working girls, no strings attached

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