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Is love in the air? How fraudsters can manipulate you this Valentines Day

Alert message sent 14/02/2022 15:26:00

Information sent on behalf of Derbyshire Constabulary

Whether you are new to online dating or you have been doing it for years, fraudster can take money from anyone.

Here are some things to consider when talking to someone online:

The majority of people love to hear compliments and fraudster use this to their advantage, by sending a flurry of compliments to their victim in a short space of time, they hope that they will be caught up in the compliments and be more invested in the new relationship. This is known as ‘lovebombing’. If you think the relationship is moving too fast and is too intense you have the option to end it.

Does the person you are talking to make excuses as to why they can’t do a video call? Fraudsters will make up excuses as to why they can’t show you their face, such as their webcam is broken, or they are too shy to show their face. It is easy to pretend to be someone through messages and even talking on the phone but it is hard to hide who you are when you are on video.

Never give your money or your bank details to someone you have only met online. Fraudsters commonly create stories which have an urgency, such as their relative is unwell and needs hospital treatment or they need money to pay off a loan. If the person you are talking to asks you to share your bank details, purchase gift cards or take out a loan for them, then you should stop communicating with them.

Fraudsters know that people are less inclined to hand over their personal details, but without this, they are unable to gain money from you. Scammers have had to come up with different ways in obtaining money from their victims and using gift cards is one of these ways. They ask the victim to purchase a gift card and then ask the victim for the code on the gift card, allowing them to use the money.

Have you met someone online and you want to tell the world, but they are telling you to keep it a secret? Fraudsters commonly ask victims to keep it a secret so that the person doesn’t get other people’s opinions about their relationship.

One way to tell if someone is telling you the truth about who they are is by doing a reverse image search, which will show you where the original image has come from. You can find advice on how to do this by searching online. However, remember someone may use their own images but still commit fraud.

If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of romance fraud, please report it to us via one of the following methods:

•            Facebook – send us a private message to /DerbyshireConstabulary
•            Twitter – direct message our contact centre on @DerPolContact
•            Website – complete the online contact form www.derbyshire.police.uk/Contact-Us.
•            Phone – call us on 101.

You should also report this to Action Fraud via their website: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/.
Message sent by
Sarah Frawley (Police, Comms officer, Media team)

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