Romance fraudsters extracting £34m a year from Britons looking for love online

Cyber con artists targeting dating websites are defrauding Britons of at least £34m a year by exploiting growing use of online matchmaking to extract money under a pretence of romance, the i can reveal. The number of cases of so-called romance fraud across the UK rose by more than a fifth last year to more than 3,100 with victims losing on average £11,000, according to figures obtained by the i and Johnston Press investigations   Online dating worth £2bn worldwide The total amount stolen from this particularly cruel form of fraud rose by a third last year to £34.4m, making it a lucrative area for online fraudsters as increasing numbers of Britons turn to the internet to find love. Action Fraud, the UK’s national cyber crime reporting centre, said the number of cases of dating fraud rose from 2,561 in the financial year to March 2016 to 3,127 to April 2017. As taboos around online dating have fallen away, the industry has grown to global revenues of  £2bn a year. It is estimated that a quarter of all new relationships in the UK now start via dating sites. But police warn that the dramatic growth is attracting cyber criminals who […]

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