Love cheats: People warned of romance scams as Valentine’s Day nears

Criminals using social media to target lonely people isolated during multiple lockdowns

The average amount lost by people fooled by romance scams came to €18,000 last year, according to FraudSmart, the banking sector’s fraud awareness initiative. Photograph: iStock

The average amount lost by people fooled by romance scams came to €18,000 last year, according to FraudSmart, the banking sector’s fraud awareness initiative. Photograph: iStock

Lonely people looking for love are being exploited by criminals on social media, with the average amount lost by people fooled by so-called romance scams coming to €18,000 last year.

Scam artists are also taking advantage of the isolation experienced by many people over the course of multiple lockdowns in the last 12 months as well as an increased reliance on technology for human interactions to target the most vulnerable people.

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