How to spot and avoid romance scams


With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, some people will be hoping to find their perfect partner, perhaps by signing up to a few dating websites or striking up conversations on social media.

And while many do end up happily coupled-up after looking for love online, others could fall prey to the tactics of scammers – who gain their victims’ trust before manipulating them into handing over money.

Jim Winters, director of economic crime at Nationwide Building Society (, says a typical romance scammer “triggers an emotional response that causes you to forget all the good advice you’ve had”.

Scammers may spend weeks or even months building up someone’s trust, and may then ask for several payments over a period of time.

While some romance scammers will invent “sob stories” for needing money urgently, such as them or someone they care for being unwell, others may pretend to be doing charitable work in their…

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