Valentine's Day Advice to Guard Against Criminals

Friday, 14th February, 2020

Police are warning people searching for love this Valentine’s Day to be on their guard against criminals looking to break their heart.

The force has issued advice for those looking for love – especially if they are using online apps / websites – to help avoid falling victim to online fraudsters.

Kay Bainbridge – Victim Care and Crime Prevention Officer for West Yorkshire Police, said:

“Romance Fraud is a crime we see all too much of with heartless criminals targeting people they see as vulnerable.

“Valentine’s Day often sees an increase in these type of offences but we see them all year round and our advice remains relevant throughout the year.

“Following this advice can greatly reduce your chances of becoming a victim.”

Fraudsters may try and contact you on a fake account to develop what might appear to be a loving relationship but then, months later, they may ask for help with a problem they are experiencing.

So get to know the person not the profile

Ask plenty of questions – don’t rush into an online relationship

Check the person is genuine by putting their name, profile pictures or any repeatedly used phrases and the term ‘dating scam’ into your internet search engine

Talk to friends and family about your dating choices – be wary of anyone who tells you not to tell others about them

Never send money to someone you’ve met online, no matter what reason they give or how long you have been speaking to them.

Don’t move the conversation off the dating site messenger until you are confident the person is who they say they are.

See the West Yorkshire Police website for more information about romance fraud and other frauds.

A Minute on a Monday video clip –first shown last year – has been reissued to help prompt people to take sensible precautions when online dating.

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