She was all set to meet him at the airport when he suddenly messaged saying his funds had dried up and he needed £5,000.“I just couldn’t believe that was what he was saying,” Jane told .
Con artists are increasingly creating fake online profiles and tricking people on dating sites into handing over often large sums of money.
One of the most common techniques is to build up trust with the person by messaging for weeks or even months before suddenly having an emergency - the fake person being mugged but their daughter needing urgent surgery, for example - and asking for money.
Nancy is now facing bankruptcy, and although her case is extreme, the average victim of online dating fraud loses £10,000 according to Action Fraud.
“A lot of the online dating fraudsters we know are abroad.
The male profile is in his late 40s (48 is the most common age) with a high income.
He presents himself as a widower, with a degree and of average height (5’10”).
She presents herself as a student, also with a degree and no interest in politics.
She is 5’6”, has never been married, and has long brown hair and blue eyes.
They're in West Africa, Eastern Europe and it's very difficult for British law enforcement to take action against them in those jurisdictions,” Steve Profitt, Deputy Head of Action Fraud explains.