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Online dating is all about making choices.

Choosing to protect yourself from fraud is one of the most important.

What could be easier than going online when you’re looking for a new relationship? You don’t have to rely on meeting someone nice at work, a magical glance across a crowded bar, or answering an ad in the local paper. And there are so many potential dates to choose from.

That’s why online dating has become so popular with people of all ages. Many find love before they know it, some staying together happily ever after with their internet date.

For others, the story isn’t so happy. Because it’s not love … it’s fraud

Online dating fraud: get the facts:

  • Action Fraud receives around one report of dating fraud every four hours.
  • The average financial loss of a dating fraud is £10,000.
  • The average number of days between the date of first contact and the date of the first payment by the victim is 30 days.
  • Almost half of the victims who commented on the impact of dating fraud said that it was “significant - impacting on health or financial wellbeing”.

Source: Action Fraud, January 2017

If you’ve clicked with someone on the internet and they start making requests for money – for whatever reason – you’re probably a target for dating fraud. You’ve probably read about it in the paper, or seen it on the news. But you’re lonely, and perhaps you think this happens only to other, vulnerable people.

Dating fraudsters can be organised criminal gangs or individuals. They may be in the UK or abroad. Whichever category they fall into, they are highly convincing and have no scruples about whose life savings they steal.

Choose safe dating, and don’t become a victim. Protect yourself from online dating fraud by following these simple tips

Click here for everything you need to know about keeping online dating safe – including meeting in person for the first time safely

This advice is brought to you by the Dating Fraud Partnership, which comprises ourselves, the City of London Police, Metropolitan Police, Victim Support and Age UK