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Norfolk is a hotspot for dating fraud, according to consumer group Which?

Norfolk is a hotspot for dating fraud, figures reveal. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Norfolk is a hotspot for dating fraud, figures reveal. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

People in Norfolk are more likely to be taken in by dating scams, according to a nationwide survey by Which?.

The consumer group made the findings following a Freedom of Information request for thousands of reports made to Action Fraud during 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Its analysis, which covered England and Wales, identified Norfolk as a hotspot for dating fraud, with 1.6 reports per 10,000 people compared with an average of 1.1.

Such cases often involve people being scammed into sending money to someone they think they are in a relationship with.

The county was also a hotspot for reported lottery scams – where victims are duped into paying to enter a non-existent prize draw, with 2.2 reports per 10,000 people compared with 1.0 nationally.

Surrey saw more incidents of financial investment fraud, with 2.1 reports per 10,000 people, compared with an average of 1.3, Which? found.

People in the Dyfed-Powys area of Mid Wales were most likely to report losing money to computer repair fraud, and it was also a hotspot for reported fake services fraud, involving people who had been conned into paying an upfront fee for services that did not exist, such as falsely offering to make a PPI claim.

Residents in Northamptonshire were most likely to report being hit by online shopping and auction scams, reporting that a product sold online did not exist, arrive or match its description.

Gareth Shaw, a money expert at Which?, said: “As more information is available about us online than ever before, fraudsters are finding it much easier to know who to target and how.

“These criminals are constantly finding new ways to rip us off and those tackling fraud should be upping their game. The Government needs to set out an ambitious agenda to tackle fraud, while law enforcement agencies need to be working harder to identify and protect the people most at risk from fraud.”

Which? has been calling for banks to give stronger protections to customers who are tricked into transferring money from their bank account to fraudsters.

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