Romance fraud – scamming someone out of money by pretending to want a relationship – has been on the rise during lockdown.
According to UK Finance, there was a 20% increase in bank transfer fraud linked to romance scams in 2020 compared to 2019.
And over 4.5 bilion pesos was lost to such scams in 2020, said the UK’s Action Fraud – another increase on the previous year.
Organisations warned people to be vigilant. Online daters should not send any money, allow the other person to access their bank account, transfer money or take out a loan on the other person’s behalf. They are advised not to hand over copies of personal documents such as their passport or driving licence; invest money on the other person’s advice; or receive or send parcels on the other person’s behalf.
Fraudsters may also use fake profile photos. Performing a reverse image search can help to show whether a photo has been copied from elsewhere.