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Money scammers target dating sites and apps

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10/02/2016
Fraudsters are targeting users of online dating sites and apps by setting up fake profiles and asking for money, a consumer group has warned.

A survey by Which? found that 40% of people who use dating sites and apps have been contacted by somebody asking for money.

Worryingly, one in seven (15%) people admitted to sending money to someone who asked for it.

People were more likely to be asked for cash on Lovestruck.com, Dating Direct and Elite Singles, according to the report.

Six in ten dating site users said they had seen what they believed to be a fake profile.

Which? director of campaigns, Alex Neill, said: “It’s important for people to be vigilant when using dating sites or apps and ensure they are not revealing personal data that then could be used by scammers.

“We’ve found most dating sites are quick to act on reports of fake profiles and scam attempts, so we encourage anyone who sees a fake profile or is approached by a suspected scammer to report it.”

Tips to keep safe include:

  • Do not share personal details such as your mother’s maiden name or your pets name which could be used to try to access financial information.
  • In your profile, do not include your last name, email or home address, phone number or other identifying information.
  • Always create and use a unique email address that is different to your personal or professional addresses when setting up a profile for a dating website profile.
  • Do not send money to anyone you meet through an online dating website no matter how convincing they may appear to be.
  • Finally, never click on a link within an email as this could be an email phishing scam which could be intended to extract personal details or money from you in some way.

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