There have been over 600 reports of romance scams per month made to Action Fraud throughout June, July and August, with criminals exploiting online daters loneliness during the lockdown.
Police forces and other organisations are set to run a campaign throughout October in order to raise awareness of romance fraud, after a 26% increase in reports of fraud to Action Fraud during the past year.
The fraudsters gain victims trust over weeks then exploit their victim by conducting a story which often leads their victims to part with their hard-earned cash
Online Dating Fraud is also known as Romance Fraud and Romance scams are a growing issue. This type of scenario can be avoided by ensuring that you only date a Safe Dates Verified User. All of our verified Safe Dates members have been identity checked and criminal background check offering you peace of mind when looking for love online.
Don’t get caught out by an online dating fraudster – ensure your date has been verified by Safe Dates.Learn More
New stats have revealed that Dating Fraud has risen 26% in the last year. The report suggests that the average victim of romance fraud loses over £10,000. The reported losses reported by the victims between August 2019 and August 2020 total a huge £66,335,239.
The Police refer to the crime as a sophisticated crime with up to 70 per cent of it originating from overseas, often with organised teams of people researching potential victims. The Police and other organisations are running a campaign throughout October to help raise awareness of online dating fraud.
Lockdown has lead to increasing cases of romance fraud due to the fact that restrictions meant people could no longer meet face to face which led to many turning to online dating to form new relationships. The fraudsters used and played upon the fact that due to covid they could not meet in person due to the restrictions in place therefore providing a legitimate reason why they would be unable to meet.
The internet is without a doubt a great way to socialise, interact, meet new people and form relationships however without ensuring that your date has been verified by Safe Dates there is a huge risk of being lured into a romance scam
Police said popular platforms where victims reported first interacting with criminals committing romance fraud were Facebook, Plenty of Fish, Instagram, Tinder and Match.com.
Safe Dates completely minimises all risks of Online Dating Fraud and we would recommend that anyone looking for love online ensures their potential date is Safe Dates Verified!Learn More
Online dating has now become the norm, which is fantastic news for people who are serious about wanting to meet someone new. However, the online dating space is also rife with exploitation and scams. Some of the statistics surrounding this area of the dating world are downright terrifying – and could leave you out of pocket, in unsafe situations or even fighting for your life. Here are a few facts and figures around online dating safety.
A playground for abusers
It is estimated that 1/10 sex offenders use dating profiles to find their next victim, according to Phactual. This statistic is scary enough, as it suggests that a large proportion of online daters have interacted with someone truly dangerous, unknowingly.
In addition, the same source states that so-called ‘online predators’ commit a multitude of crimes after sourcing their new victims, including thousands of rapes, 16,000 abductions and 100 murders every year.
Opportunities for scamming
Online scamming is also big business. Asking for money directly or accessing the finances of an individual is commonplace in the online dating world, and there are many opportunities for exploitation. The latest figures state that around 10% of all online dating profiles aren’t real – meaning they have been created under a false identity. This will come as scary news for anyone who has ‘met’ someone great on the web, but has yet to meet up in person.
Lying about relationship status
Unfortunately, the ability to hide behind a computer means many users are dishonest in other ways, too. Even if they’re not an abuser and they are who they say they are, their relationship status may not be all it seems. In fact, it appears that up to 62% of online daters lie about their relationship status, and approximately half are already in long-term relationships (or relationships of some kind) when they browse for a new partner. Dishonesty and intent to harm comes in many different forms, and for those seeking something real this could be truly devastating.
What can I do?
Until recently, there have only been limited methods of finding out the true identity of an online dater – but Safe Dates provides a pioneering new take on the dating process. By carefully vetting the identity of users, utilising the latest in high-tech investigative software, it provides a great new way for people to verify themselves online or check someone else is telling the truth.
As finding love continues to go digital, this is a great way to protect yourself and others from danger.Learn More
Online dating is now a mainstream way of meeting new people, but many of us are unaware of the dangers we face each time we log-on. With no way of telling whether people are who they say they are, catfishing continues to grow more and more commonplace – but what is it, and how can you avoid some of the dangers of online dating?
What is catfishing?
Put simply, catfishing is the term used to describe someone who creates a fake profile and identity for themselves. This is usually done to con others into believing they truly are this new ‘person’, either to extract money or otherwise cause harm to the people they meet on the web.
Catfishers are sometimes quite detailed in their construction of these new identities, which can make it difficult to tell fact from fiction. While some simply steal a photograph or a name, others will carefully construct an alternate life story which makes them sound more ‘impressive’ or attractive than they would otherwise.
In online dating, this can be catastrophic for a victim, as it may lead them to interact with this individual in a way which they would not do if they knew who was really behind the screen. This could include sending money, intimate or suggestive photographs, or even agreeing to meet, only to be conned (or in some instances, physically harmed) in person.
Examples of catfishing
There have been several high-profile examples of catfishing, such as the event in 2016 when a man was conned into believing he was online dating the popstar Katy Perry. Such high profile examples of identity theft can also have a damaging impact upon the life of the person who has their photographs or identity stolen, such as in the case of Karen Danczuk, who had her photograph plastered across online dating profiles in 2017 and had to manage numerous attempts at contact from men who thought she had been ‘dating’ them.
How do I stay safe when online dating?
Online dating platforms are currently under no real legal pressure to keep their users safe, particularly in the area of vetting identities. This is where we come in. Safe Dates provides a trustworthy, effective service where users of online dating can have their identities verified (or check someone else’s providing they are already a member of Safe Dates), proving their trustworthiness and helping to make online dating less toxic, far safer and all in all a happier experience for online daters.
If you would like to sign up for Safe Dates please click here.
If you are already a member of Safe Dates and would like to invite a potential new date to sign up and become a Safe Dates Verified Member please click here.Learn More
Dating can be nerve-wracking enough as it is, without worrying that you might be meeting someone who isn’t quite who they say they are. Yet instances of online dating fraud continue to escalate, as more and more of us look for love on the web.
Until the launch of new service Safe Dates, there’s been no real way to check whether your date is who they say they are, or for you to prove the same to a potential date. Let’s take a quick look at how to verify your own ‘safe date’.
- Meet in public
It’s always advisable to meet your date in a public area where you know people will be around. With so many opportunities for catfishing, this is a great way to ensure that you meet someone who is the person from their online dating profile photographs
2. Tell people where you are
As another layer of safety, we strongly recommend daters tell someone close to them where they are going and who they are meeting. This will help add more safety and gives you someone to check-in with during the date. It also means that if something goes wrong, you’ll be able to get help from somebody you trust.
3.Trust your instincts
Sometimes, our gut instinct about a person proves to be right. Never feel pressured into meeting in person if you don’t want to do so, no matter how guilty the other person may try and make you feel for ducking out of the date. Likewise, if you’re on a date and feel uncomfortable, then feel free to leave at any time.
4.Use Safe Dates
Online dating platforms are under no obligation to identity check their users, which means they have become playgrounds for abusers, kidnappers and scammers. The statistics on the thousands of crimes related to online dating speak for themselves and help showcase how important it is to always take the appropriate safety measures during your online dating life. Running an identity and criminal check using Safe Dates is the perfect way to check your date is being honest about who they are, while also enabling you to do the same for them.
The process is simple and inexpensive – users need only sign up, upload their identity documents and pay a small fee for investigative checks Thereafter, they’ll be issued with a unique verification code, which can be searched for on Safe Dates to prove authenticity.Learn More