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But then they suddenly need money for rent too, then food, then medical fees, and it can quickly escalate.

Nancy*, a 47-year-old single mother from North Yorkshire was conned out of over £350,000 that way: “I wasn't comfortable, and then I got so far in I couldn't get myself out, and I didn't want to walk away having lost £50,000 or what-have-you, so you keep going in the hope that you're wrong and this person is genuine,” she explained to the BBC.

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They're in West Africa, Eastern Europe and it's very difficult for British law enforcement to take action against them in those jurisdictions,” Steve Profitt, Deputy Head of Action Fraud explains.

And a lot of the time, you’re not just talking to one person behind each profile - you could be exchanging messages with a circle of fraudsters acting together, according to KIS Finance.

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After a couple of months, he said he had to go to the Middle East for an oil rig refurbishment and even sent Jane pictures of him in his hardhat on the rig. But she was feeling vulnerable after the breakdown of her marriage and agreed to transfer him a smaller amount, despite admitting it sounded “crazy”.If you find the picture is a fake, report the profile to the dating site immediately.Watch out for inconsistencies and repetition too - if you’re talking to a team of scammers, they’re bound to forget what’s previously been said and slip-up occasionally.After reporting the profile to the dating site, stop all contact and get in touch with Action Fraud on 03.At singles2za you will find the same kind of online dating system that you will find at other well known South African dating sites where you would pay anything from R100 to a couple of hundred rands per month.He is most likely to have a career in engineering, has no interest in politics, a full head of light brown hair, and the photos are often taken at a slight distance.The female profile is in her 20s (29 was the most common age), and also has a high income.Serious fraudsters sometimes even create further fake profiles and use them to be rude to you, all to make the main fake profile seem more desirable.And it’s not just particularly vulnerable people who fall victim either.She presents herself as a student, also with a degree and no interest in politics.She is 5’6”, has never been married, and has long brown hair and blue eyes.

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