Internet dating sites keep fake profiles

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He even called the immigration number on her documents.Unfortunately, it was an accomplice at the end of the phone. He says: ‘I got into debt, but she said she would pay me back.’When Kerry said she could not get the flight to visit him without yet another payment to ‘immigration’, David finally sought advice and learnt he had been scammed. Devastated, he turned to Victim Support to help him get back on his feet emotionally, and to debt charity Step Change to sort out his debts.He says: ‘I tried to meet someone the conventional way by going out with friends, but got nowhere so I tried a dating website.’He soon stumbled across the profile of a woman called ‘Kerry’, who resembled someone he had known years before, who had moved to Canada.They began chatting online, but it was not long before she suggested they move their communications off the website.Their aim can be as simple as to persuade a customer to switch to another ‘better’ website and take out a new subscription.This can be either a legitimate website that pays commission for new leads or a fake website gathering the cash for itself.

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It has been great as therapy and for making friends.‘I’ve only just started to be able to trust people again.

It would be nice to have romance, but I will never go near another dating website.’Another victim who is also wary of the internet and has not used social media since she was scammed is ‘Julie’ – not her real name.

Three years ago, Julie signed up to a dating website and fell for a ‘tall, dark and very handsome man in uniform’.

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.

The crime cost victims a collective £39million last year, a rise of nearly 50 per cent since 2015.

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