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With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, a new survey has revealed that the number of people falling victim to romance scams has risen.

The Lloyds Bank report shows that romance scams increased by 22% in 2023 compared to 2022 with the average amount lost to these scams being £6,937.

Fraudsters target those looking for love, often using fake photos and information on social media and online dating apps to lure victims in.

Interestingly, data shows that it is men who were slightly more likely to fall for a romance scam, making up 52% of cases.

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

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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. Remember that no good relationship starts off by sending money to someone you haven’t met and this should be a big red flag.

“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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