A new financial report revealed that romance fraudsters were responsible for £65 million worth of theft in Great Britain since 2020. It shared that this money came from more than 7,000 individuals, who lost on average £10,000 each.
The report from bank TSB shared that victims were equally distributed across age groups, however the demographic of 51-65 year olds lost the money in comparison to others. This is because high-losses are linked to victims who have had divorces, or are widows.
Romance scams were linked back to dating apps, as well as Facebook and Instagram. Most scam relationships last around 53 days before the bad actor starts asking for money.
In 4% of cases, scammers took advantage of shared explicit images or personal information in order to blackmail their victim into giving them money.
“Social media and tech firms need to step up to better protect those seeking relationships on their platforms”, said Paul Davis, director of fraud prevention at TSB.
The best way of beating romance scammers is by talking to friends and family about the relationships you’re in. If you’re ever asked to send money, then it’s time to stop”, he added.