Romance Fraud Costs People More Than £50m As Nottinghamshire Woman Targeted

10 February 2019, 07:00 | Updated: 10 February 2019, 07:02

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A woman from Nottinghamshire - who was nearly conned out of £20,500 through romance fraud - has praised the process that intervened.

The victim was contacted online by a man claiming to be a doctor doing emergency work for the United Nations in Syria. 

They had been speaking for around six months, and after a short while he started requesting money claiming he needed her help to go home to his children. He assured her that he would come to England to be with her when he could.

He initially requested £3,000 which the victim sent to an account in the UK, and on Monday 4th February 2019, he asked for £17,500 to be sent to Ghana.

The woman went to her bank to transfer the money but staff spotted something suspicious and contacted police - who are now supporting her.

She said: "It's easy for people to wonder how I could have been conned in this way, but the lengths these people go to to convince you makes it all seem so real. I'd built up a relationship with him for six months and had no reason not to believe him. I'm much more aware now and off course it all adds up retrospectively. I will be much more sceptical when it comes to anything like this in the future."

"I can only praise the banking protocol and the way the agencies worked together to prevent me losing any more money. Although it was a shock, staff at the bank and the officers treated me with the utmost respect and I'm grateful that they intervened."

The banking protocol - which was established in Nottinghamshire in May 2017 - has prevented almost £480,000 in fraud so far in the county.

It's as figures nationally show so called Romance Fraud cost people more than £50 million last year.

On average - victims are scammed out of more than £11,000 each through dating sites or apps.