UK Scammers Stole £33m In 2014, Public Think Sites Vet Users


Scammers and fraudsters conned British victims out of over £33m last year, new reports have revealed.

Action Fraud and the City of London Police said that 3,543 dating victims were defrauded last year.

The total amount stolen by scammers amounted to £33,650,491.

The figures were revealed today as police and Action Fraud launched a campaign all about cybercrime myths that the public believe, such as that dating site users are screened before they are allowed onto a site.

A spokesperson for the City of London Police said: “The reality is that most dating websites allow people to sign-up to the website without vetting checks, which means that fraudsters are able to use the website to target people online and defraud them.

“Dating fraudsters are often particularly convincing and if the person also thinks that they have already been vetted by the dating website, it makes it even easier for the fraudster to manipulate their victim.”

There have been a number of high profile cases of dating fraud in the UK over the past year, as the police look to crack down on scammers, and bring the issue to the public’s attention.

One scammer who posed as an American solider to defraud his victims out of £300,000, was sentenced to six years in jail earlier this year.

In July, another fraudster operating in the UK was jailed for four years after scamming two women out of almost £500,000.

And just last month, a 50-year-old man who used a dating site to swindle five female victims, in order to fund his “flamboyant lifestyle”, was jailed for eight years.