Romance scams effect people throughout the U.K. and the rest of the world. These types of scams are some of the cruelest you’ll encounter. They work by playing on the emotions of human beings. Specifically, they target individuals who are elderly, over 40, widowed, recently divorced or disabled. These qualities make it easier for the scam artist to lure someone in. You might think that this type of scam is not common, but you would be wrong.
Many of these scams come out of Nigeria. One of them is called the advance fee, or 419 scam. After months of correspondence with an individual, a person uses a scripted plan to extort money from the person that they “love.” They use different tactics to ask for the money. One common tactic that they employ revolves around the need for emergency money. The person might claim that they are out of the country, and therefor, they need assistance in paying for bills or other expenses. Sometimes they ask someone to cash a check for them, and other times they ask for cash to be sent directly to their own account.
It can be tough to accept that the person you have fallen in love with is actually a criminal who only wants money. The best solution to this type of situation is prevention. If you’re a member of an online dating website, make sure that the person that you’re speaking to is real. If they are not willing to call you, provide personal information or Skype with you, then chances are good that they are a fraud.