Warning over dating websites

PUBLISHED: 15:51 15 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:12 15 June 2010

POLICE have issued a warning to users of an internet dating website after a scam took more than £500,000 from British women in just 100 days. The fraud, emanating from Nigeria, involves con artists joining legitimate dating sites, usually as a white male

POLICE have issued a warning to users of an internet dating website after a scam took more than £500,000 from British women in just 100 days.The fraud, emanating from Nigeria, involves con artists joining legitimate dating sites, usually as a white male in the 40s, with a solid job in the military or UN.The profiler will be a single parent, who lost their partner in tragic circumstances or whose wife divorced and abandoned them. The fraudster then uses the profile to make contact with a woman, through email and text messages, promising a long-term future.Then the con merchant promises to take their 'leave' from the services, with a large pay cheque due. Victims of the crime have then been approached about 'short term' financial assistance, before the fraud is committed.More than 30 women nationally have fallen foul of the trick. Police, who have no jurisdiction to investigate crimes in Nigeria, say it is impossible to recover money. Officers have urged caution when using dating sites, and recommended asking a trusted friend for an impartial view before committing to any situation.

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