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Asking for money before they’ve met you is a telltale sign of a romance scammer and should set alarm bells ringing.

It’s common for romance scammers to pose as a soldier serving in the military as this gives them a good excuse as to why they can’t meet you in person. If you’re dating someone who claims to be in the military, you can offer to give them a call, organise a video chat or send them a letter as they should have a number, internet connection and mailing address.

Often, scammers will pretend that they need the money for some sort of personal emergency or insist they need the money to travel to visit you.Usually, there will be links or buttons on profiles to block or report individuals.Don’t be afraid to tell people you trust that you’re talking to someone online – more than six million UK adults visit dating sites each month. The objective viewpoint they can offer is crucial if you’re emotionally involved.If you’ve been scammed for money from someone you met online, inform the website immediately. You should also report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and crime reporting centre.Dating websites usually aren’t liable for losses you incur while using them, unless you can argue that the service wasn’t provided with reasonable care and skill, or there were checks the website said it would carry out and didn’t.

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They then get the victim to send money or hand over enough personal information to steal their identity.

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