businessman looking into the distance

Romance Fraud

Olivia starts talking to a man called Shaun on a popular dating app who says he lives at the other side of the country. After building up a connection over several weeks, Shaun says that he will visit Olivia but needs money for petrol, which Olivia is happy to pay.

Not long before the date they are set to meet, Shaun says that his car has broken down, meaning he will not be able to travel. Olivia again sends the money for this, on the basis that she will be paid back when they meet.

Shaun makes several more requests for money, for money towards childcare for his children while away and a number of other reasons. When the day comes to finally meet, he messages saying he could not because he was involved in a car accident. Olivia then attempts to talk to Shaun several times, but is uncontactable and has now received several thousand pounds from Olivia.

BE CYBERWISE: Cyber criminals will earn your trust and then request money for all manner of reasons, all of which will be false. Building a friendly or romantic connection means victims are more likely to freely hand over funds in good faith, but really are being scammed. The criminal will not be who you think they are, building a persona to hook you in and exploit you.