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.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.
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.
Photos used are often selfies of her wearing skimpy vest tops showing lots of cleavage.
Jane*, a middle-aged woman from Warwickshire, had a lucky escape a few years ago when she very nearly handed over a sizeable sum of money to an online scammer who did in fact claim to be an engineer.
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.
“A lot of the online dating fraudsters we know are abroad.