A new study shows the United Kingdom is experiencing an unprecedented surge in romance scams this summer. Victims from the United Kingdom lost a record €104 million to romance scams over the last 12 months, up from €68 million in 2020.
Romance scams – also known as ‘catphishing’ – are when criminals create fake online profiles to trick online love seekers out of their hard-earned money. London and South East are tied for losing the No. 1 most money, each losing €14.4 million as of June
The study surprisingly found younger, tech-savvy Britons are being scammed more often than their elders. Young adults ages 20-29 represent 16.34% of people scammed, whereas ages 60-69 and 70-79 make up only 14.16% and 9.15% respectively.
Here are the Most and Least Catfished Regions of the UK:
5 Signs You are Being Catphished:
1) Will Not Meet in Person or Video Chat: They keep finding excuses not to video chat or meet. They may send photoshopped pictures of themselves with your name written on a piece of paper to prove they are real.
2) Asks to Move off the Dating App: They want to move the conversation off the dating app and onto an online messaging platform such as WhatsApp or Google Hangouts.
3) Poor Grammar: They claim to be highly educated but their messages are littered with typos and grammatical errors.
4) Confesses Love Quickly: They shower you with love to gain your trust so they can steal your money. If the person moves too quickly and asks for the same in return, it is a red flag.
5) Asks for Financial Assistance: They claim to have an emergency and ask you to send money. They may also ask for your bank account information so they can deposit money into your account. Once they have your information they use it for identity theft.
If you believe you have been contacted by a romance scammer report it to ActionFraud.