He says he’s single, honest and looking for love – just like you, in fact.
All he needs is a little money to get him through a tricky situation…
According to police, such fraud increased by 16 per cent in 2014-15, with recorded losses of more than £33 million.
Judith Lathlean, a 67-year-old, Oxford-educated professor, made headlines in December last year when she courageously revealed how she had paid £140,000 to a man she met on a dating site (but never met face to face).
Judith joined a dating site last year – one which matches your values, personality and lifestyle with other members and scores them accordingly. When he got my replies, he’d come up with something similar but ever so slightly different.’'He’d say he loved me and I’d reply, “You haven’t even met me!
Let’s wait and see.”’ So her scammer tried another tack: introducing Felix, a 14-year-old boy he had ‘saved’ in Liberia, who was temporarily living in Ghana.
They want to know everything about you – your favourite food, your bucket list, your secret fears... Browns and greens are my favourite colours.’ They find real-life reference points: songs you can listen to, colours you can see and films you can watch.
They then come up with very similar responses, only slightly different. to test their control and have something to use against you.
When it was ‘Felix’s birthday’, Sara sent money for an i Phone. ‘I believed in the boy – that was my weak point,’ she says.It could be getting you to take part in explicit exchanges or send sexual videos. If the ‘one-off deal’ you need to pay is presented as slightly illegal or shady – a mess he has got into and needs help getting out of – you will likely feel too worried to go for help.Perhaps he is on the edge of retirement or about to leave the military and build a new civilian life; perhaps he was widowed years ago and only now feels able to start again.And with each victim, they learn and improve their psychological technique. The scammers just need to find the right button to press.’ They will tell you they’re widowed, or divorced after their partner was unfaithful.They may have raised a child alone or lost a child.