Three people have been arrested today as part of an ongoing operation to tackle so-called romance fraudsters. In total 10 suspects have been arrested in relation to this operation.
Today’s arrests were carried out at two addresses in South London. A 35 year-old man, a 41 year-old woman and a 47 year-old man were arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation and money laundering.
Investigating officer DC Mason said, “Romance fraud is a particularly cunning, cruel and highly manipulative crime. The impact this leaves on victims can be devastating.
“I hope this action today encourages victims of online romance fraud to come forward and report it so those responsible can be brought to justice.”
Following the change in many people’s circumstances and subsequent loneliness as a result of the pandemic, romance fraud increased by a third in 2020 compared to 2019. Already this year Surrey Police and Sussex Police have seen 186 reports of romance fraud.
Protect your heart – and your wallet – from romance fraud:
Avoid giving away too many personal details online. Revealing your full name, date of birth and home address may lead to identity theft.
Never send or receive money or give away bank details to someone you’ve only met online, no matter how much you trust them or believe their story.
Pick a reputable dating website and use the messaging service on their website. Fraudsters want to quickly switch to social media or texting so there’s no evidence of them asking you for money.
Is this person really who they say they are? Don’t allow yourself to feel bad for being suspicious – if the person you are speaking to is genuine, they will understand your caution.
Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve been victim of a scam. Report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or report to them online via their website.