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Romance Fraud

The people of Cheshire are being advised to stay safe when dating online as part of a national campaign targeting romance fraud.

Throughout October officers will be raising awareness and providing advice to the public on how to spot the signs to help prevent them from becoming a victim.

Romance fraud, or dating fraud, takes place when you think you’ve met the perfect partner online but they are using a fake profile to form a relationship with you.
They gain your trust over a number of weeks or months and have you believe you are in a loving and caring relationship.

However, the criminal’s end goal is only ever to get your money or personal information.

Detective Sergeant Chris Jacques, from Cheshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said:

“It is important to understand that people who commit these crimes do so in an incredibly sophisticated way and often target those most vulnerable.
“It affects victims emotionally as well as financially and often leaves them blaming themselves.
“Throughout the month we will be going that extra mile to make people aware of what signs to look out for as well encouraging people who have become a victim to report it to us knowing they will be given support.”

The campaign, being led by the City of London Police, will involve supporting vulnerable people and targeting those who commit these crimes.

The top five platforms where victims reported first interacting with a criminal committing romance fraud were Facebook, Plenty of Fish, Instagram, Tinder and Match.com.

As part of the campaign the Match Group, who own OK Cupid, Plenty of Fish, Tinder and Match.com, are running romance fraud protection adverts throughout October on these platforms, to inform their users how to spot the signs of a romance fraud and how to protect themselves online.

These include:
• Avoid giving away too many personal details to someone you’ve never met in person – such as your full name, date of birth and home address
• Stay on the site’s messaging service until you meet in person
• Use the site’s reporting tool if you are suspicious of someone online, which will help protect you and others.

You can get further information by visiting - https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/

Please stay safe and if a friend or family member mentions sending money to someone they have met online then please stop them and share the above information.

If you suspect that you or someone you know is a victim of romance fraud then please report to action fraud - https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

Message Sent By:
Beth George (Police, Great Boughton PCSO, Chester LPU).

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