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Men more at risk of romance financial scams  

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The number of victims of ‘romance’ financial scams increased by a fifth (22%) in 2023 compared to 2022, with men at more risk than women.

The figures are revealed in a new report on the scams published by Lloyds Bank.

Romance scams involve fraudsters conning people looking for love out of their savings.

The crooks often target people online, building up a bogus relationship before cheating them out of their money.

In the last financial year, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) reported receiving 8,036 reports of romance fraud – an average of 154 a week, amounting to over £92m lost.

The Lloyds Bank study found that in 2023 men were slightly more likely to succumb to a romance scam than women, making up 52% of cases.

However, women tend to report higher losses – an average of £9,083 compared to an average £5,145 lost by men.

The 55 to 64 age group was most likely to be tricked by fraudsters masquerading as love interests with the number of cases in this group up 49% compared to 2022.

However, it is those aged between 65 and 74 who lose the most money, giving romance scammers an average of £13,123, the highest amount of any age group.

Crooks often use fake photos and bogus information on social media and online dating apps to lure victims. Scammers often come up with excuses for why they cannot meet in person or show their face on video calls.  Common excuses involve working away in the armed forces or in international aid and charity work.

One positive fact from last year was a reduction in the amount lost on average. According to the study from Lloyds Bank the average amount lost in 2023 was £6,937, less than in 2022 (£8,237).

Liz Ziegler, fraud prevention director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Targeting those looking for love is a cruel, but sadly common, way for fraudsters to cash in. Scammers can be incredibly convincing and leave their victims both emotionally and financially drained. Social media and online dating apps are rife with fake profiles, and it can be hard to tell who is genuine.

“As soon as someone you’re talking to starts asking for money, step back from the situation and never hand anything over. Talking to a real-life friend or family member can be a good way to sense check what’s going on.”




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