Dating fraud has become a commonplace crime with the latest figures showing one victim reports dating fraud every three hours.
A new campaign, which began on Sunday February 12, aims to raise awareness of the worsening problem.
Dating fraud victims are conned out of £10,000 on average and can experience “significant” health issues as a result.
Victim Support (VS) and Age UK along with the Met’s Fraud and Linked Crime Online (FALCON) Unit, City of London Police and Get Safe Online will all work in partnership with the Online Dating Association to better understand how fraudsters operate and the best way to keep people safe online.
Fraudsters will usually ask for money within the first month of contact and the partnership advices to be careful and aware when talking to people online.
Getting to know the person and “not the profile” is important and people should ask plenty of questions, as well as googling the name to see if there is evidence of fraud attached to it.
After meeting someone online, sending someone money is a big no-no, “no matter what reason they give or how long you’ve been speaking to them”.
Fraudsters will sometimes say they do not want their potential victims to tell anyone about them, which is a warning sign they are up to no good.
It is also useful to google repeated phrases used by the person alongside “dating scam”.
Detective Inspector Gary Miles, from the Met’s Falcon Unit, said: "The people who perpetrate this type of offence are ruthless, organised, committed and without conscience to the pain, embarrassment and financial loss they cause to their victims. Their methodology is sophisticated.
“This campaign is the beginning of a collaboration designed to prevent these type of offences from occurring, by raising awareness among the public and by identifying and targeting the key techniques that the suspects use.
“Please use the dating tips as it will help you to avoid becoming victim to these despicable criminals."
Anyone who is a victim of dating fraud should report to Action Fraud via the website or by calling 0300 123 2040.