Home Blog ‘You feel shame’ – the reality of romance scams

‘You feel shame’ – the reality of romance scams

L's pet

L's pet

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Els Pet now works as a crook and helps others.

Brian promised Elspet a bright future. Later wonderful marriage and bungalows in life.

But Brian was not real. He was a romance con artist. Elspet didn't realize until he spent 10,000 pounds.

They met on a dating website, she was taken over by email, and money, including life, was now in hand and lost to her.

Els Pet was convinced of his story of serving abroad in the military. She trusted him enough to believe that a friend who was a diplomat brought his belongings home, but he had to pay for the freight and courier costs. It was a lie.

Els Pett, 67, said, “I feel ashamed.

Now she works as a scammer, listening to victims and warning people at community centers about the dangers of this kind of fraud.

"I tell people I should not be afraid to talk with family and friends, they should report. They don't have to be alone in this," she said.

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New figures show her work is needed more than ever.

According to data from bank finance institution UK Finance, cases of romance fraud increased 64{7be40b84a6a43fc4fae13304fce9a2695859798abfc41afd127b9f8b21c5f9c5} in the first half compared with the same period last year.

Crooks choose victims by looking for signs of vulnerability, trolling through profiles, and gaining trust over weeks and months.

A total of 9.9 million pounds were lost to 935 people between January and June, of which only 5 million pounds were returned to the victims.

Previous studies have shown that the majority of victims are women, losing on average twice as much as men.

Online safety advice

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  • Criminals who collect romance fraud trolls through their profile and collect information such as property and lifestyle to manipulate victims
  • Police can investigate and provide assistance but often can't get money back
  • It's very easy for fraudsters to mask their IP address and deal with their tracks using unregistered phone numbers.
  • Never send money to someone you've never met
  • Think twice about posting personal information that could be manipulated or bribed.

Source: Action Scam

Romance scams are only a small part of the losses caused by so-called Apple Push Push Payment (APP) scams. Criminals trick victims to transfer money directly from their savings into an account controlled by the offender.

In the first half, APP fraud losses were 58,000, totaling £ 290 million. This is mostly a victim, not an enterprise. The number of cases was 69{7be40b84a6a43fc4fae13304fce9a2695859798abfc41afd127b9f8b21c5f9c5} higher than the same period a year ago and the loss was 40{7be40b84a6a43fc4fae13304fce9a2695859798abfc41afd127b9f8b21c5f9c5} more. But the bank said the record for these scams was better by the bank and the victim is more likely to come forward.

Only £ 39m (19{7be40b84a6a43fc4fae13304fce9a2695859798abfc41afd127b9f8b21c5f9c5}) of these were refunded by the bank. Until recently, banks deemed the victims agreed to pay, so they did not automatically refund money, like other types of fraud, such as when debit card information was stolen.

New code

In May, the largest banking group agreed to a new voluntary code, which included new criteria for determining whether customers would get their money back. Rewards are proposed to be collected from transaction fees for all bank transfers in excess of £ 30 and come from a central pot paid by the banks that subscribe to the scheme.

Now, victims with reasonable care or vulnerable factors are much more likely to be refunded their lost money. "Excessively negligent" victims are not reimbursed.

The effect of the scheme, which began in May, has not yet appeared in fraud figures for the first half of this year.

One bank (TSB) broken the rankings by announcing the guarantee that it automatically refunds all "naive" customers who have been scammed.

But other banks have proposed that a blanket refund policy would suggest fraudsters to try their luck.



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