American dating romance
The female profile is in her 20s (29 was the most common age), and also has a high income.
She presents herself as a student, also with a degree and no interest in politics.
Jane*, a middle-aged woman from Warwickshire, had a lucky escape a few years ago when she very nearly handed over a sizeable sum of money to an online scammer who did in fact claim to be an engineer.
Her interest was initially piqued when he seemed to have a similar background and heritage to her and they chatted for almost two months, often exchanging messages for at least two hours an evening.
By analysing the top 3,000 scammer profiles (that is, those they’ve come across most frequently in profiles blocked by their software in the last year) they’ve discovered what constitutes the ‘most attractive’ female and male propositions to those targeted by romance scammers.
The male profile is in his late 40s (48 is the most common age) with a high income.
“He was saying all the right things,” she remembered. It’s called a romance scam, and this devastating Internet crime is on the rise.
Jane advises meeting up with someone sooner rather than later - more often than not, scammers are based abroad and won’t be able to meet you.
“I just couldn’t believe that was what he was saying,” Jane told .
But she was feeling vulnerable after the breakdown of her marriage and agreed to transfer him a smaller amount, despite admitting it sounded “crazy”.
Around 7.8 million UK adults used online dating sites in 2016, up from just 100,000 in 2000.
But just as dating app users are at an all-time high, so is the number of people becoming victims of online dating fraud.
There was only one thing that seemed a little odd to Jane: his syntax occasionally seemed a little unnatural for a native English-speaker, and when they spoke on the phone, something about his voice didn’t seem to match his pictures.