Barclays bank has warned daters and people looking online for love to be vigilant, saying there is a 60% rise in the amount of money lost in the last quarter.
A romance scam is when someone pretends to be interested in starting a relationship, but in reality wants to con you out of your cash.
According to the bank, their research showed victims of such scams lose £4,090 on average with people aged 51 to 60 most at risk, which amounts to over a third (35%) of all money lost to romance scams.
Data research by the bank showed 77% of all scams like this take place on tech platforms, such as dating apps and social media sites
Barclays said it doesn’t want people to be complacent, after 66% of people said they were confident they would not fall victim to a scam like this.
Ross Martin, Head of Digital Safety at Barclays, said:
‘Dating apps can be a great way to meet people, but it’s important to remember that not everyone you speak to will have the best of intentions.
‘Scammers can use dating apps and social media sites to manipulate you into sending them money.
‘You should never feel pressured into doing this, and if something sounds suspicious or doesn’t feel right, stop engaging with the profile and speak to someone you trust for a second opinion.’
It can hard to look at people with suspicion, but there are list of signs that the person you’re speaking to might be a scammer.
Someone with only one or no photo at all can be a red flag.
Alternatively, if someone has glamorous photos showing off a lavish lifestyle, that can also be an attempt to try and fool you.
If their photos seem professional, they may have been swiped from elsewhere and you could be dealing with a ‘catfish’ who is pretending to be someone else.
One way of checking this is to do a ‘reverse image search’ of their photos to see if they have been taken from somewhere else.