Over a fifth of online daters in the UK have been contacted by scammers and fraudsters while search for love online, a new study has revealed.
The survey, commissioned by internet security firm BullGuard, has revealed that many internet daters from the UK suspect they have been exposed to dating scams or fraud when using online dating services.
In a survey of 1,500 UK internet daters, one third of participants believe they have been lied to by another user online.
And a significant one in five said they have spoken to an online suitor who was trying to gather financial information from them for fraudulent purposes.
A further 15% of participants confirmed they have been a victim of an online dating scam.
The survey, designed to look at the dangers of online dating, also showed a worrying one in five daters shared their bank details with a person they met on a date, and 10% admitted to giving a date money when asked.
Cam Le, Security Expert at BullGuard said: “While online dating is an increasingly popular trend and can be a very successful platform on which to meet like-minded people, it can also potentially open you up to identity fraud if you’re not aware of the dangers.
“It’s very difficult to get the balance right between being friendly and engaging with new people and giving too much away.
“If anyone is asking for too much personal information soon after striking up conversation, then alarm bells should start ringing. If something feels wrong then hold back.”
The poll also asked singles about the effect scammers have on the way they interact with online dating.
A third of those who took part said they worry they cannot find “the one” because they are too worried about sharing personal information about themselves and appear unfriendly.
Additionally, 46% of people said they will instantly stop messaging someone if something feels off.
The study found 45% of searching singles said they often come across potential suitors that seem suspicious or just too good to be true.
However half of these people said they would still be willing to meet up, despite their concerns.
Cam Le said: “The old saying “if something seems too good to be true it usually is” can unfortunately be applied to online dating in many cases.
“Scammers do exist on dating sites and it’s important to be aware of the tricks that they use to try and entice people to share too much.”
The study also found that the most popular dating services in the UK are Match.com, Plenty of Fish and Tinder.
For more information about BullGuard and the survey, click here.