Experts warn that Online Dating Websites are nothing short of being a magnet for con artists preying on vulnerable people desperate to find love or affection.
It is believed that more than 200,000 Brits alone could have been taken in by these so-called ‘RomComs’ and handed over thousands of pounds of their cash to the clever tricksters but owing to the shame many victims feel after being taken for a prime time fool only 600 cases were reported to the police last year.
Researchers at Leicester University are the first to study the ever growing scale of dating Websites romance fraud and shocking figures in a YouGov poll revealed that out of 2,000 British adults questioned, one in 50 knew of someone that had been affected by the growing crime.
In the more severe cases, victims conned out of money and their self-respect using online dating websites have committed suicide.
“This is a concern not solely because people are losing large sums of money but also because of the psychological impact”, said author of the study, Professor Monica Whitty.
Many of the so-called RomCons were found to be connected to organised crime gangs based outside of the UK and often use photos of models or soldiers to lure in their lonely hearts daters to hand over their cash with no intention of ever paying them back.