dating scams, catfishAre you looking for friendship or love? Aren’t we all? Many dating websites, apps and chat rooms such as the famous Tinder, Plenty of Fish and operate legitimately in the United Kingdom. However, the individual behind the dating screen may be about to scam you. Dating and romance scammers lower your defences via building an online relationship with you. Many people, both men and women, have lost huge amounts of money to online dating scammers. Always consider your personal safety if you arrange to meet someone through a dating website.

How can you differentiate between a genuine person and a scammer? How does it all start? Someone starts connecting with you through a dating website or, if you are an avid user of Tinder, you swipe right for someone you are attracted to and hey presto you are matched! They look like your type, so you start chatting with them and become interested.

You get to know the person, perhaps over weeks or months. You start to feel a really strong bond, then all of a sudden, they need some money for a personal crisis/ an ill relative/ they are stranded in a country/ just a short-term loan…

You trust them so you want to help. They will probably have a convincing story. You send them money. Before long they ask for more – then more, and more, and more.

Soon you have handed over all of your savings. Or worse still, you borrow money to bail them out. Once they have taken all they can, your new love will disappear and your money will be gone. And then it dawns on you that unfortunately you have been a victim of a ‘catfishing’ scam.

How do you avoid this? Firstly, you should think very carefully about the following:

  1. Giving out personal information on a website/app or chat room;
  2. Scammers will quickly interact with you, often showing you glamorous photos of themselves and gaining your trust, also they will make conversation that is very personal to draw information from you, but will never tell you much about themselves that can be checked or verified;
  3. Most importantly, scammers will try to steer you away from communicating on a legitimate dating website/app or chat room that could be monitored by staff, their preference is to communicate via email, text and possibly phone.

At Griffin Law we are well placed to steer you away from these dating and romance scams. If you would like advice on any matter which is keeping you up at night, Griffin Law can help to provide prompt, commercially astute and cost-effective advice. Contact us via email or on 01732 525923

Article by Rico Dexiades, Solicitor, Griffin Law