WHAT’S THE ISSUE?
Following Valentine’s Day, there is one type of fraud on everyone’s lips - Romance fraud.
Dating online without meeting in person has become the new normal throughout the pandemic, and fraudsters jumped at the opportunity of making money from lockdown loneliness.
Romance fraud boomed in the UK, with a 40% rise in reports in the year to April 2021, with losses reaching more than $95M. There was also a 20% rise in related bank transfers.
And you’d be wrong to assume the victims are to blame. During the UK’s lockdown, a former police special constable in England was conned out of more than $650,000 by two fraudsters who began by providing words of comfort following the death of her husband.
The true figures for romance fraud are likely to be even higher, as many victims are too embarrassed or upset to officially report it.
So, what are the warning signs that we should be looking out for? The Agenda’s Stephen Cole speaks to Criminologist, Dr. Elizabeth Carter.
MEET THE EXPERT
Dr Elisabeth Carter is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Kingston University.
Dr Carter’s work examines points at which language and the law intersect, in both legal and illegal worlds.
Her role as a Forensic Linguist helps police identify notable phrases used during interactions between fraudsters and targeted victims and the abuses of power throughout the grooming process.
Dr Carter also teaches about areas of policing and crime victims, with her research often shared on national platforms.
Watch #TheAgenda in full and find out more at:
Follow CGTN Europe on social media and other platforms👇🏼