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21-Aug-2016 09:58

But just as dating app users are at an all-time high, so is the number of people becoming victims of online dating fraud.A new report by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has found that last year, singles were conned out of £39 million by fraudsters they’d met on dating sites and apps. "He has a child and he's in Afghanistan and he's fighting the terrorists and he's a pilot, and I thought my prayers had been answered," Schuster said. Eventually, Smith asked Schuster to wire him some money to help support his daughter. She had sent him nearly ,000 before she finally realized the whole thing was a scam. She began a relationship online with a military officer serving in Afghanistan named Adam Smith. "I was really embarrassed that I could let this happen to me." Before you say to yourself, "That could never happen to me," consider the fact that the FBI recorded some 15,000 romance scams last year, a jump of 2,500 from the year before. Because it is practically impossible nowadays to date without some use of the internet, experts warn that you need to take precautions before jumping into the dating game. "I was pretty upset because I felt so excited that I thought that I had met somebody," she said.The internet has revolutionized the world of dating, but it is also a new breeding ground for scams. One way to check is to do a reverse image search on Google. It will allow you to either upload the profile photo or paste it directly from the web site.The FBI says romance scams are rampant online, with an estimated 0 million in losses last year. "If you get a million results for it, chances are it's some kind of a stock photo," Hood said.

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"The criminals who carry out romance scams are experts at what they do," the agency says.Con artists are increasingly creating fake online profiles and tricking people on dating sites into handing over often large sums of money.One of the most common techniques is to build up trust with the person by messaging for weeks or even months before suddenly having an emergency - the fake person being mugged but their daughter needing urgent surgery, for example - and asking for money.They will invest months into a relationship, seemingly asking for nothing in return.

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Then, when you are finally all in, they spring their trap.

It could help stop a fraudster in his cruel and dastardly tracks.