Dating Scams: What They Are And How To Stop Them

Dating scams are sharply on the increase in the UK. The media is dominated by reports of online scams involving dating, concentrating on the emotional and often financial costs this brings to victims. The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) released figures showing that dating scam fraud victims, as many as 40,000, in the UK, lost over £34 million in 2014, an increase of 33% of 2013. If you have used online dating, and it’s estimated that one in five of us now have, using a private investigator to conduct a background check on the people you meet can help stop you falling victim to such a scam.

Dating Scams On Match And The Use Of A Private Investigator

As noted above, one in five UK people have used online dating. In recent years, even the largest and most prominent dating sites have been targeted by scammers from across the globe. Scams are conducted by both opportunistic individuals as well as organised criminal gangs. Dating scams on Match and other online dating portals are carried out not just by perpetrators in the UK but from around the world, with a disproportionate percentage originating from Nigeria. The most common form of dating scam is for the perpetrator to create a number of false profiles which are designed to entice and entrap individuals from the specific demographics they are targeting. In 2014, two men alone were found guilty of Match dating scams by money laundering through the site. In a scam which targeted single women, victims were duped into thinking they were building a relationship with ‘an attractive middle-aged man’ and conned into handing over sums between £700 and £220,000. Whilst some women realised these were dating scams and reported it to the website, others lost large sums of money. However, they could have saved themselves time, money and emotional distress by using a private investigator to research and fully vet the backgrounds of potential matches. A good investigator can uncover lies or dishonesty, as well as confirming genuine profiles. Investigators can spot false profiles, such as those utilised by scammers, or people who are cheating on a spouse or partner. This can bring genuine online daters peace of mind upfront.

How You Can Confirm And Report Dating Scams

If you have been, or suspect that you are, the victim of a dating scam then you will know that one of the most important steps you can take is to quickly report the individuals to the website administrators. It is so they can be isolated from the rest of the community. All the major and most reputable online dating sites have in place channels and systems to report and investigate fake profiles and allegations of scams. They, in conjunction with authorities, take any such allegations seriously. The difficulty can be in confirming whether you are the victim of a scam or not. Tell-tale signs your online date might be fake include: pushing you to communicate off the site via text or other messaging platforms; hesitancy to share personal information and details; and an overly perfect profile picture. They may then ask you to send them money for a number of reasons. Taking these steps, among others, can help keep you safe online. Firstly, trust your instincts, if it feels wrong, it probably is. Secondly, do not share or post personal information in open forums or your profile. Thirdly, never share debit or credit card details or send money to anyone you don’t know and trust. It’s vital that you report dating scams as quickly as possible to the dating site in question and the authorities. If any of the tell-tale signs above feel familiar, the best way to find out whether you are becoming the victim of a scam is to hire a competent and professional private investigation firm such as UK Background Checks.

Dating Scams Can Be Prevented With UK Background Checks

UK Background Checks ( is a professional, discreet private investigation service operating across the UK. One of our largest areas of expertise is in undertaking relationship enquiries to prevent associated frauds and dating scams. We pursue enquiries on a global basis, finding dating scams originating from Africa, the Ukraine, the USA, Pakistan and India, among other nations. In most cases, we can differentiate fraudsters, scammers and liars from genuine people at an early stage to prevent our clients falling victim to a scam. To discuss your circumstances with one of our experienced team, get in touch with us through calling 44(0)845 512 0440 during office hours.