Although the rate of transactions related to online dating fraud was lower last year than it was in 2014, new research by Norton confirms the number of people falling victim to dating scams in Europe remains high.
The antivirus software provider recently found that many online daters across Europe have been subject to scams, fake profiles and revenge porn when using dating platforms.
It did so by surveying 3,038 mobile users aged 18 to 34 across the UK, France and Germany, asking them about their experiences of using online platforms to find love.
The survey found that 48% of participants had been sent spam and scam messages from other users while on online dating services, with around 32% confirming they had received cash requests from people they spoke to.
Norton also revealed that 28% of those surveyed had admitted to being “catfished” by a scammer using fake or stolen photos to create a dating profile.
And around 32% of respondents said they had been threatened with the distribution of potentially damaging images they had sent to other users, with 11% of them confirming they had seen content put online without their permission to do so.
Commenting on the findings, GM of Norton EMEA, Nick Shaw said: “Scammers are naturally attracted to large online communities and the surge in online dating among millennials makes these sites a prime target.
“As with any relationship, trust is key and people should never share images or personal information before they are sure they can trust the person on the receiving end.
“In the online world, as with anything in life, people aren’t always what they seem and while there are many legitimate daters on these sites, you still don’t fully know what kinds of people you’re dealing with.
“Therefore it’s important that you are vigilant so you can enjoy dating online without placing yourself in a vulnerable position.”
In addition, Norton also carried out research into other areas, including the common problem of misleading information on dating profiles.
Almost half (48%) of those surveyed admitted they had lied about themselves online, with many misrepresenting their weight, physical appearance and interests.
The company found that 51% of men are more likely to commit to misrepresenting themselves in online dating profiles, compared to 45% of women, with Brits being the most likely out of the three regions.
However, in terms of lying about income, Norton found that online daters in Germany were the most likely to do so.