Keep your money safe.

Keep your money safe.

26 February 2024 | by Kroo Marketing Team

In a romance scam, the victim is persuaded to transfer money to someone they've met online, with whom they believe they have built a romantic relationship. The relationship is usually established on social media or via dating apps/ websites. Once they've established their victim's trust, the scammer may claim to be experiencing problems, such as issues with their visa, health issues, family issues or flight tickets and ask for money to help.

Scammers continue to use a range of tools and techniques to systematically groom, isolate and manipulate victims to exploit them for financial gain. They use fake personas, sites and companies, fabricated narratives and false documents to bolster those narratives.

Romance scammers rely on kindness and use highly manipulative and coercive techniques to exploit this for their gain.

Warning signs it might be a scam:

  • They may express strong feelings early on and attempt to progress the relationship quickly. One tactic is making their victim feel special early in the conversation.
  • If you're chatting on your usual social media platform or an official dating service, they may try to move the conversation to WhatsApp or Telegram.
  • Romance scammers will encourage secrecy and may influence you only to trust them. They may try to isolate you from your family and friends.
  • They usually avoid answering personal questions about themselves. The details they tell you seem made up or don't reflect the truth. For instance, they may say they're university-educated, but their spelling and grammar are poor.
  • There will always be an excuse why they can't meet in person or show themselves on camera. They say they live overseas or somewhere remote, or their technology isn't working.

Other things to look for:

  • Their online profile doesn't match what they tell you about themselves.
  • They talk about money or investments. They might say they know about cryptocurrency and offer to teach you.
  • You're asked for personal photos, videos or information they could use against you in the future.
  • The scammer gets desperate or angry if you don't do what they ask. They may threaten to cut off the relationship.

Two in five people (38 per cent) who dated someone they met online were asked for money

Over half (57 per cent) of those who were asked for money said that they gave it or lent it

The impact of romance scams

Romance scams can have devastating consequences for the victims. Emotionally, individuals who fall prey to these scams often experience feelings of betrayal, embarrassment, and heartbreak. The psychological impact can be long-lasting, leading to trust issues and difficulties in future relationships.

Financially, victims suffer significant losses. Scammers may drain their victims' bank accounts, persuade them to take out loans, or even convince them to send large sums of money. The financial burden can be overwhelming, leading to debt, bankruptcy, and severe financial hardship.

City of London Police have confirmed that £92.8m was lost in the UK last year.

We continue the fight against romance scammers so people can protect their money and prevent long-term emotional and psychological damage from callous criminals.

Steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • If your online connection asks you for money, they are likely a scammer. Stop contact right away and seek support.
  • Don't send money, card, or bank details or important identity documents like your passport to someone you've only met online, no matter how long you've been messaging them.
  • Be cautious of moving money on behalf of someone you haven't met. You may be roped into illegal activity such as money muling.
  • Trust your instincts - If you feel like something is wrong, it may be.
  • Reach out for a second opinion - if you are unsure, you can contact your bank, family and friends for their opinion.

Check the person is who they say they are.

  • Take things slowly, ask lots of questions and watch for things that don't add up.
  • Conduct research on the person by checking their digital presence to find out how active they are on various social media platforms.
  • Perform a reverse image search of their profile photo and see if it belongs to someone else. You can do this by uploading a picture of the person you are talking to into your search engine to check that profile photos are not associated with another name or Google “reverse image search”.

Be careful what you share (and what you don't).

  • Never send intimate pictures or videos of yourself to people you don't know. Scammers use these to blackmail people.
  • Don't keep your online relationship a secret. Speak to people you know about it. It can be easier for others to spot the warning signs.
  • Be careful about what you share about yourself online. Scammers can use information about your hobbies, job or family to target you.

Tips on how to spot a fake profile. They usually have:

  • Photos that look too professional
  • Very little personal information
  • No connection to social media accounts
  • Few comments, likes or shares on their social media from other people

Romance fraud is one of the top five most commonly reported frauds to Action Fraud, the national fraud and cybercrime reporting service for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Action Fraud also runs the National Economic Crime Victim Care Unit (NECVU), which provides support and advice to victims of fraud and to help prevent them from being victims of fraud again.

If you think you’ve been a victim of scam/fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at or call 0300 123 2040.

Keep yourself and your money safe.


  2. - Published on 02/10/2023