Internet dating websites for sale
It would be nice to have romance, but I will never go near another dating website.’Another victim who is also wary of the internet and has not used social media since she was scammed is ‘Julie’ – not her real name.
Three years ago, Julie signed up to a dating website and fell for a ‘tall, dark and very handsome man in uniform’.
And the mobile number he’d given her was tracked to Africa. The number was no longer in service when she tried again.’Julie, like most victims, feels ‘angry, stupid, duped and impotent’.
Behind the scenes, dating websites try to prevent these nightmares by weeding out scammers.
Police figures show that 3,900 people reported being duped into parting with an average £10,000 last year through dating websites, with two thirds of victims women and one in four in their 50s.
The average time it takes for someone to start sending money to a fraudster is 30 days.
David became suspicious as the requests for cash increased.
This can be either a legitimate website that pays commission for new leads or a fake website gathering the cash for itself.
Female victims are usually hooked with profiles of middle-aged men.
They are often of average appearance, wearing shirts with button down collars, and who claim to have solid jobs in the likes of medicine, the military or engineering.
The ‘date safe’ campaign is a collaboration between the charity Victim Support, advice website Get Safe Online, Age UK, City of London Police and Metropolitan Police, working with trade body the Online Dating Association.
A spokesman for the City of London Police warns: ‘The numbers we see are just the tip of the iceberg as people often do not report cases because they feel stupid for being deceived.’The campaign hopes to prevent the heartache and financial loss suffered by people such as David, who told The Mail on Sunday about being defrauded of his life savings in a dating scam.