Shortly after making the transfer, Deborah confided her concerns in a friend who warned her this could be a scam.Despite making several attempts to stop the payment, it went through.A fraud is sweeping online dating sites, according to a special report in this month’s issue of Glamour Magazine.
But only three in ten said they reported fake profiles when they saw one. director of campaigns Alex Neill said: ‘It’s important for people to be vigilant when using dating sites or apps and ensure they are not revealing personal data that then could be used by scammers.
‘We’ve found most dating sites are quick to act on reports of fake profiles and scam attempts, so we encourage anyone who sees a fake profile or is approached by a suspected scammer to report it.’ During this investigation, Which?
heard from Deborah*, who reported that she’d lost £4,000 to a dating scam last year in what she described as a ‘horrid situation’ that caused considerable distress. He presented himself as a business consultant working in the oil industry who was often out of the country.
After a few weeks of regularly speaking through online messaging, email and a couple of telephone calls, they arranged to meet.
For this reason, Cupid.com, the online dating network behind and Black Match.com, announced a partnership this month with Rec Sys Ltd, an anti-scammer technology. With the new system, any individual identified as a scammer is added to the master database, which other online dating companies can access.
To identify rogue behavior, the algorithm factors in the user’s login location, IP address, profile photo, and behavior patterns.“In the war against online dating scams and security threats, we’ve chosen to do whatever is necessary to always be a few steps ahead of scammers, and not the other way around – which is usually too late for our users,” said Cupid.com’s CEO, Bill Dobbie.“This decision has its high price tag, but the alternative can be much costlier,” he continued.“I’ve also seen my own photos and name used.” (The image of Grisham that was used by scammers is pictured, left) With a few of the largest player like OKCupid, Match, and others, there are precautionary measures in place.However, on smaller or niche dating sites like and datanta, there is no security system to spot a fraudster.A matter of hours before the couple were due to meet face to face for the first time, Steven messaged Deborah to say he was out of the country and in desperate need of cash to fulfil a business contract.