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Female victims are usually hooked with profiles of middle-aged men.
They are often of average appearance, wearing shirts with button down collars, and who claim to have solid jobs in the likes of medicine, the military or engineering.
A dating fraud campaign launched today aims to stamp out these ‘romance scams’ – where dates turn out to be nothing more than fraudsters who destroy people’s lives both financially and emotionally.
He says: ‘If someone says they are in the UK, but the IP address is Nigeria, then that rings alarm bells and we can delete a profile.‘None of the profiles go up on the website until they have been approved by humans.’Dan Winchester works for Scamalytics, a software company that helps protect many dating websites and their customers.The warehouse worker is still piecing his life and finances back together three years on.David, 58, turned to online dating after the break-up of a long-term relationship.He says: ‘I was encouraged to take up a hobby and have been ballroom dancing several nights a week.It has been great as therapy and for making friends.‘I’ve only just started to be able to trust people again.