‘Their pictures are too perfect’ - warning after dating app scammers target Norfolk

Norfolk trading standards officers have warned that dating app scammers have targeted people in Norf

Norfolk trading standards officers have warned that dating app scammers have targeted people in Norfolk. Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire - Credit: PA

People in Norfolk have been targeted by scammers using fake profiles on dating apps.

Trading standards officers at Norfolk County Council said they had received a number of reports of the scams in the week of August 15.

They said: "While the majority of users are genuine people looking for love, fraudsters also use these profiles and enter into conversation with you to gain your trust and ask you for money or enough personal information to steal your identity."

They said fraudsters would ask innocent questions, including a person's date of birth, name of first pet or home address, with a view to obtaining information to commit identity fraud.

Or, once they have established trust, they may ask for money to help them or a family member, or to pay for flights or a visa.

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Action Fraud has issued the following advice:

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- Avoid giving away too many personal details when dating online. Revealing your full name, date of birth and home address may lead to your identity being stolen.

- Never send or receive money or give away your bank details to someone you've only met online, no matter how much you trust them or believe their story.

- Pick a reputable dating website and use the site's messaging service. Fraudsters want to quickly switch to social media or texting so there's no evidence of Once a fraudster using a fake dating profile is confident that they've won your trust, they will tell you about a problem they're experiencing and ask you to help out by sending money.

And has given the following tips as to when something may be suspicious:

- You've struck up a relationship with someone online - they're asking a lot of personal questions about you, but they're not interested in telling you much about themselves.

- They invent a reason to ask for your help, using the emotional attachment you've built with them. Your relationship with them may often depend on you sending money.

- Their pictures are too perfect - they may have been stolen from an actor or model. Reverse image search can find photos that have been taken from somewhere else.

If you been the victim of a dating scam, you can report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

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