“A lot of the online dating fraudsters we know are abroad.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.
Around 7.8 million UK adults used online dating sites in 2016, up from just 100,000 in 2000.
But just as dating app users are at an all-time high, so is the number of people becoming victims of online dating fraud.
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.
Nancy is now facing bankruptcy, and although her case is extreme, the average victim of online dating fraud loses £10,000 according to Action Fraud.
An increasing number of people have found life-partners via relationships started online.
Sadly however, scammers have managed to effectively exploit this trend to further their own nefarious ends.
They will send you the Money Orders or checks and ask you to deposit them into your bank account and then wire the money to them via Western Union.
Usually they say to keep some money for your trouble.
Recently there are also Nigerian scams originating from Malaysia, China, India, Turkey, Spain, Cyprus, Egypt, as that's where Nigerians are located since they can easily get to these countries without visas or on the student visas.