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“A lot of the online dating fraudsters we know are abroad.They're in West Africa, Eastern Europe and it's very difficult for British law enforcement to take action against them in those jurisdictions,” Steve Profitt, Deputy Head of Action Fraud explains.And it’s not just particularly vulnerable people who fall victim either.“[It’s] not the case that stupid people fall for romance scams - they can be very clever,” Professor Monica Whitty, a cyber-psychologist, explains. Scamalytics, a company which runs anti-scammer software for a number of the major dating sites, are trying to reduce online dating fraud by creating profiles of the average male and female con artist.One of the most common techniques is to build up trust with the person by messaging for weeks or even months before suddenly having an emergency - the fake person being mugged but their daughter needing urgent surgery, for example - and asking for money.But then they suddenly need money for rent too, then food, then medical fees, and it can quickly escalate.There was only one thing that seemed a little odd to Jane: his syntax occasionally seemed a little unnatural for a native English-speaker, and when they spoke on the phone, something about his voice didn’t seem to match his pictures.
But she was feeling vulnerable after the breakdown of her marriage and agreed to transfer him a smaller amount, despite admitting it sounded “crazy”.
From Tinder to Match to Ok Cupid, all of the online dating websites now let you add multiple photos to your profile.