The variety of victims of ‘romance’ monetary scams elevated by a fifth (22%) in 2023 in comparison with 2022, with males at extra danger than girls.
The figures are revealed in a brand new report on the scams revealed by Lloyds Financial institution.
Romance scams contain fraudsters conning folks in search of love out of their financial savings.
The crooks typically goal folks on-line, increase a bogus relationship earlier than dishonest them out of their cash.
Within the final monetary yr, the Nationwide Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) reported receiving 8,036 studies of romance fraud – a median of 154 per week, amounting to over £92m misplaced.
The Lloyds Financial institution examine discovered that in 2023 males have been barely extra prone to succumb to a romance rip-off than girls, making up 52% of instances.
Nonetheless, girls are likely to report increased losses – a median of £9,083 in comparison with a median £5,145 misplaced by males.
The 55 to 64 age group was almost definitely to be tricked by fraudsters masquerading as love pursuits with the variety of instances on this group up 49% in comparison with 2022.
Nonetheless, it’s these aged between 65 and 74 who lose essentially the most cash, giving romance scammers a median of £13,123, the best quantity of any age group.
Crooks typically use faux images and bogus data on social media and on-line relationship apps to lure victims. Scammers typically provide you with excuses for why they can not meet in particular person or present their face on video calls. Widespread excuses contain working away within the armed forces or in worldwide support and charity work.
One optimistic reality from final yr was a discount within the quantity misplaced on common. In keeping with the examine from Lloyds Financial institution the typical quantity misplaced in 2023 was £6,937, lower than in 2022 (£8,237).
Liz Ziegler, fraud prevention director at Lloyds Financial institution, stated: “Focusing on these in search of love is a merciless, however sadly widespread, means for fraudsters to money in. Scammers may be extremely convincing and depart their victims each emotionally and financially drained. Social media and on-line relationship apps are rife with faux profiles, and it may be onerous to inform who’s real.
“As quickly as somebody you’re speaking to begins asking for cash, step again from the scenario and by no means hand something over. Speaking to a real-life good friend or member of the family is usually a good solution to sense examine what’s happening.”