The BBC has announced a new five-part docu-series that will investigate the growing trend of romance fraud.
Presented by actress Kym Marsh and reporter Ashley John-Baptiste, ‘For Love or Money’ will aim to expose some of the techniques used by scammers trying to extract money from online daters.
The hosts are also hoping that viewers will be able to take on board plenty of practical advice about how to stay safe online, and learn to detect whether they really are speaking to the person they think they are.
Action Fraud reported that victims lost approximately £50 million to romance fraud in 2018.
Marsh told The Mirror: “This series has been a real eye-opener. I feel really passionately that this series is going to stop people in their tracks and really analyse who they are talking to online.
“Most importantly, give them all the information they need to tackle potential romance scammers.”
She also said the work was highly relevant to her own experiences, as she has suffered from identity theft in the past. The presenter came across a man in 2017 who thought he had been in a ten year romantic relationship with her after connecting with someone using her photos online.
Both of Marsh’s daughters have also had numerous fake Twitter accounts created using their details. This was the case even when her youngest was only six years old.
Earlier this year a documentary film was produced looking at the other side of the crime; focusing on a team of scammers in Ghana who use romance fraud as their main source of income.
At the end of 2018, an hour-long BBC Panorama special explored how fraudsters are targeting singles. It featured an interview with an elderly man who was conned out of more than £100,000.
Read more here.