A new campaign is warning people who cruise dating sites to be on the lookout for scams, as the loneliest of heart are apparently being attacked and made to fall in love with criminals via the means of a stock series of romantic messages.
The Date Safe campaign is encouraging people having romantic little chit-chats to look up chunks of the text within messages they receive, as the bogus profiles of people more attractive than the ones that usually talk to you can be manned by potential scammers who use a stock list of set phrases to trick their victims into falling in love with them -- then ask for money in a variation on the "Help! I've been mugged abroad!" scam.
Data published by the City of London Police and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau say that online scam romances tend to last no more than 30 days, after which the criminal feels ingratiated enough to ask for money, in some cases taking as much as £15,000 from their victims, or move on to try their stock romantic responses on the next victim. [BBC]