Nancy*, a 47-year-old single mother from North Yorkshire was conned out of over £350,000 that way: “I wasn't comfortable, and then I got so far in I couldn't get myself out, and I didn't want to walk away having lost £50,000 or what-have-you, so you keep going in the hope that you're wrong and this person is genuine,” she explained to the BBC.Nancy is now facing bankruptcy, and although her case is extreme, the average victim of online dating fraud loses £10,000 according to Action Fraud.

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They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details.

Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact.

One of the most common techniques is to build up trust with the person by messaging for weeks or even months before suddenly having an emergency - the fake person being mugged but their daughter needing urgent surgery, for example - and asking for money.

But then they suddenly need money for rent too, then food, then medical fees, and it can quickly escalate.

And it’s not just particularly vulnerable people who fall victim either.

“[It’s] not the case that stupid people fall for romance scams - they can be very clever,” Professor Monica Whitty, a cyber-psychologist, explains. Scamalytics, a company which runs anti-scammer software for a number of the major dating sites, are trying to reduce online dating fraud by creating profiles of the average male and female con artist.

A new report by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has found that last year, singles were conned out of £39 million by fraudsters they’d met on dating sites and apps.

Con artists are increasingly creating fake online profiles and tricking people on dating sites into handing over often large sums of money.

Recognizing Scammers Preventing Scams Community Q&A This wiki How teaches you how to avoid being scammed on dating sites. She says I'm so handsome (I'm not) and wants to see me in person and hear me. Beware." said he was Roden Miller (actually Jeffrey Miller) as a scammer. He is in the army stationed in Houston Texas but is currently on a peacekeeping mission in Libya but would be returning soon. I refuse to give my number or email and insist on staying on that site.