A new report by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has found that last year, singles were conned out of £39 million by fraudsters they’d met on dating sites and apps.
Con artists are increasingly creating fake online profiles and tricking people on dating sites into handing over often large sums of money.
The professional, focused service offered by PARSHIP is designed for singles who are looking for someone for a long-term commitment.
One of the site’s main attractions is its scientifically based compatibility test, the fruit of more than 30 years of research by top psychologists.
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.
But then they suddenly need money for rent too, then food, then medical fees, and it can quickly escalate.
But, if you are looking for love rather than a little entertainment, is that enough to get you on the right track?
Every reputable dating site will ask you to register and supply some details about yourself, and at some point you will be expected to pay a modest subscription so that you can benefit from everything the site has to offer.
Some sites are for singles who are interested in a bit of a chat and a bit of a flirt, while others – like PARSHIP – are for people who are looking for someone special for a committed relationship, even marriage.
Around 7.8 million UK adults used online dating sites in 2016, up from just 100,000 in 2000.
But just as dating app users are at an all-time high, so is the number of people becoming victims of online dating fraud.
By analysing the top 3,000 scammer profiles (that is, those they’ve come across most frequently in profiles blocked by their software in the last year) they’ve discovered what constitutes the ‘most attractive’ female and male propositions to those targeted by romance scammers.