Tinder Swindler – How to avoid romance fraud

Romance scams are among the most common types of fraud in the UK, with cases logged with Action Fraud up 40% last year.

Victims looking for love are targeted via dating websites or apps and exploited using emotional manipulation.

Scammers appeal to their victim’s compassionate side and eventually, after lots of compliments and getting them to believe they’re in love, start asking for money.

The team at Lendingexpert.co.uk have pulled together some tips to help avoid a romance scam.

Don’t overshare

If you find yourself oversharing lots of personal information, but your love interest shares little about themselves, they could be hiding something.

Be aware if they cancel to come and see you

If your new partner plans to visit you, but something comes up last minute which prevents them from coming, be very cautious if it happens again.

Trust your instincts

If your new love interest is bombarding you with generous gifts, and it all feels a bit too good to be true, trust your instincts.

Get a reality check

It’s really easy to fall head in heels with someone if they’re telling you all the right things. Tell a friend or family member to sense check the request if they want money.

Don’t pay for travel costs

If someone you’ve met online lives in a different country and asks for money to come and see you, get suspicious. If you can travel, offer to go and see them instead.

Ask for proof of ill relatives

If you’ve recently met someone and they explain a relative is sick and need money to pay for medical bills, ask for proof – this is a common trick fraudsters use.

Never send money if you’ve never met

If someone you haven’t met in person starts asking for money, no matter the amount, explain that you’d rather meet first and seriously question their motives.

Slow down

If someone you’ve just met is confessing their love and asking you to move in, be very cautious. If it’s true love, they won’t mind you asking to slow things down.

Personal finance expert and editor-in-chief of Lendingexpert.co.uk, David Beard said; “If your new love interest asks to borrow money and you decline, it shouldn’t impact the way they feel about you if they’ve genuinely fallen in love. If they get angry or agitated, that would indicate their heart isn’t in the right place.

“Don’t allow the excitement of meeting someone new to cloud your judgement – always be ultra-cautious lending or giving money to someone you’ve not known very long – even if they’ve showered you with gifts, luxury meals or nights away.

“If you think you’ve been a victim of a romance scam, don’t feel embarrassed. It’s sadly widespread and important that you report it ASAP to your bank, the dating site or app and Action Fraud to prevent them from doing the same to others.”