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Online dating fraud hits a record high in the UK

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A record number of people - almost 4,000 - became victims of online dating scams in 2016. They were conned out of £39-million - the highest total ever recorded. So what makes people send vast sums of money to someone they've never met? Meet the women who've lost hundreds of thousands of pounds. Exclusive report from Nicola Rees for the BBC Victoria Derbyshire programme. (First broadcast BBC 2 23/01/17)
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Text Comments (280)
Angela Holt (2 days ago)
Some Nigerian scammers thought they were tricking me, i ended up tricking them out of $1,600 three times!
truthbtoad (3 days ago)
Banks certainly could have a higher level of scam security but these people could also just not send all their fucking money to a complete stranger, too.
Birgit Guersoy (5 days ago)
Please look on http:www.1001geschichte.de, the German board fighting against bezness, a similar fraud system which usually starts in countries, where European women go on vacation.
Tawana Scott (7 days ago)
No one got inside their heads they allowed those scammers to get in their heads. What person in there right mind would send money to a stranger that you've only known for 6 weeks and instead of you asking me a stranger for money why didn't he ask his close family members or friends or better yet transfer money from his own damn bank account. I'm sorry but if you get scammed from a stranger claiming they want a relationship with you and you're sending them money for whatever reason you deserve everything you get to taken for a ride. I'd never contemplate doing something so damn stupid ever in this life or the next.
maya tiririt (7 days ago)
How can we say we are living in a very high tech world when we can’t even catch this criminal online ! I mean if technology is that versatile why is it hard to even trace them ...
Bob Smart (8 days ago)
If it's sounds to good to be true it is ?? It's probably a Nigerian in a internet cafe with your email address ?if you have sent money by money gram Western Union you will have receipts ?jumble the numbers up next time they ask for money tell them you have sent it ! You watch the Sparks fly !they will go mad them block all contact and never ever open again .
lyn Lynn (8 days ago)
It’s not the bank responsibility to warn you about how and where to spend your money! Besides you’re too old to be scolded and lectured about wise spending with the use of common sense and good reasoning!Just admit that you’re an idiot who will learn from her mistakes next time!
r h (9 days ago)
Does the man pictured at 8:54, look like the man from some 1980's hair product ad. Perhaps 'Grecian 2000'?.
maltese girl (6 days ago)
A lot are models .
Morag Molony (10 days ago)
Why is this happening everywhere?
Marilene Sawaf (10 days ago)
people must be so lonely
Gav Tatu (12 days ago)
its sad, but you can't protect people from their own stupidity.
Gavin Waterman (14 days ago)
These women are intelligent and successful?
Joanne Philpot (17 days ago)
DIDNT THINK ANYTHING OF IT!!! 60,000 BUX!!??? Are you kidding me!!!
KJ Wade (18 days ago)
Total insanity
ivan bašić (18 days ago)
before this video i've watched one where comments were disabled. I hate that
Janelle Eden (19 days ago)
Unless I see them in real I would not send any money better to be safe than sorry
lilac petal (19 days ago)
One thing about going off the dating website for messaging - the apps will 'accidentally' glitch and make communication impossible even if there is no evidence of a scam happening. Why? They don't want you to actually meet anybody. If you start dating and leave the dating service they end up losing money. They want you to keep paying and trying to find love.
demoanddestroy (21 days ago)
When people who have zero sexual marketplace value and they start getting attention from a beautiful person. They are easily manipulated. Trust no one. I don’t feel sorry for them. There are plenty of people with plenty to offer and they get snubbed because of people’s unrealistic expectations.
Denna Marie Valdez (21 days ago)
I lost everything im going bankrupt now
sidharth chand (22 days ago)
I don’t like it when my wife pays for our meal together; how do these women give these strangers thousands of dollars
Sue M (23 days ago)
Grandma shudve been looking after her grandkids instea of looking for bae
SAD GAMES (24 days ago)
And women go on and on about how dumb men are... well well well...
Charmaine Watson (25 days ago)
Thank God you didn't lose your life, that predator committed a crime against you. God blessed you always.
Tyana Alexandra (25 days ago)
I can’t even get £5 petrol from people I know and these women send thousands to strangers yelp.
God’s Spiritual Poet (27 days ago)
Don't allow the social network and the Internet to control your mindset https://youtu.be/QMmPhmitrgU
Lorna Blackwood (30 days ago)
One word, stupid. Just how u dont know someone but u go get ur money from the bank and send it to someone. Flipping please, they would have to break the bank to get my money out, u people are plain dumb, so how would they manage if he they didn't met me. Am not that kind with my money, he can just tell these people about love and they get head over heels for nothing. U people too desperate to hear crap
CoffeeLover (1 month ago)
I wish it wasn't illegal to con stupid people because I'd be living large off the amount of money they send
kenneth peter oliver (1 month ago)
I always thought that if you've accumulated that sort of money in your lifetime you are sensible it just shows you are not and the people who have got no money they wished they had that sort of money to be scammed in the first place lol
r h (1 month ago)
I could swear that the man shown at 8:55 is from a Grecian 2000, or Just for men ad.
Mumtaz Zafar (1 month ago)
As soon as someone ask for money. You ask for money first making your own story and see what happens
Mumtaz Zafar (1 month ago)
Asking for money is a red flag simple
Charmaine Watson (1 month ago)
She gave because she thought she was investing in their future.
Vanessa (1 month ago)
Try this dating app for Serious relationship www.sdapp.global
Stephen McLaughlin (1 month ago)
Just go to the pub and. socialise. Poor people.
Emma Smith (1 month ago)
I lost over $98.000 do not send no money to anyone from internet...I blame me and nobody else. It’s completely my fault. Same story and same scenario they use on me like they did to Judith. I called few local tv here in USA non of them were willing to hear my story and all I wanted to help other women to not to make same mistake
Justmiss jamey (14 days ago)
Gosh...so sorry this happened to you :( im shocked more people in 2018 almost 19 dont know about these scams and not fall for it.
Justmiss jamey (14 days ago)
Gosh...so sorry this happened to you :( im shocked more people in 2018 almost 19 dont know about these scams and not fall for it.
Lykaah1 (1 month ago)
I am Nigerian and not all of us are scammers. Request for video calls. If he or she declines consistently, then that should be a major red flag. It isn't wise to just chat. You should do more of video calls that way, you would have an insight into their daily activities. It also proves the picture on the profile is the same as the person you are communicating with. Be reluctant parting with money. Take your time.
Dennis Ramos (1 month ago)
How are these people not puzzled that they have a picture of a white guy but when they talk to them on the phone they have a thick african accent!?? Elo dis is olowole but yu can col mi John Portah, but no worries i am not a scammer i only offa mi lov! Im sho you will lov dis blek dik foh free! 🙄
Katie Dorton (1 month ago)
I love it when Nigerian and Arabian men msg me , I'm smart enough to know they are fake.
Clarissa Gafoor (1 month ago)
For goodness sakes!!!!! There are no words!!!! Women here in Hong Kong have lost millions of Hong Kong dollars. Each! And in one case the police were talking to this lady who refused to believe she was being conned.
jodi Ben nafla (1 month ago)
I met my husband thru fb in 2011. We married in 2015. But I been to see him four times . Face to face..never sent him money before meeting him in real..
COFFEE tea LOVER (1 month ago)
They do anything for the D lol
Christine Haigh (1 month ago)
The work of Financial Predators, they really know how to feed an empath a lot of crap.
Christine Haigh (1 month ago)
It's such a very costly trap to fall into..They're always looking for suckers, and scammers know it.
Christine Haigh (1 month ago)
Such liars, such scammers...counterfeiters...
Christine Haigh (1 month ago)
Love Baiters...
bikinggal1 (1 month ago)
be alert...pay attention to the profile..the pictures..if they ask you for money..Not someone who was military..or someone who was from over seas..keep it local...I met some guys who said they were military.. they were over seas..they needed help..they were robbed..on and on. My other advice is to use the miles away selection that most of the sites have. I always picked 50-100miles. Keep it local. Be realistic..long distance relationships are difficult and mostly do not work. If I fall in love with someone, I want to be near and with them, not across the seas so I always dated locally. I met my partner online and we have been together for 3 yrs now. My heart breaks for anyone who has been scammed in a love situation.
Tuovi Sjölund (1 month ago)
All ages and people groups can become scammed
Jasmine Herd (2 months ago)
She's upset that her bank never questioned her yet SHE never questioned herself.People always want to place the blame on someone else
Christie A (2 months ago)
Looking for love in all the wrong places. You can't buy love.. its free!
TrollmeisterGeneral (2 months ago)
These women may be successful in many ways - in business for example, or in the world of academia. But as far as I am concerned they are amazingly lacking in common sense. Not street-wise; not savvy at all. And I had to smile when I read how some of them blamed the banks for not stopping the transactions - or law enforcement agencies for not helping them more. These women, and these women ALONE, are to blame for their misfortune.
Sher Lizz (2 months ago)
Intelligent...? Far from. Downright stupid.
Niko Palmer (23 days ago)
Sher Lizz intelligence is subjective lol.
Don Roger (2 months ago)
Why they don't catch this scammer ?
Don Roger (2 months ago)
So sad
Bell (2 months ago)
Everybody is responsible for themselves. Sure these scammers are evil little shites, but these "victims" chose to give their money away. Nobody, including the dating sites, the banks, or the police are to blame for this but these women themselves......
msigbo vibes (2 months ago)
You know what is another crazy thing?? Someone has actually tried to scam me with that guy, 'John's' picture. Joke is on them though. I have likely less than they do. It trips me out how so many guys from other countries believe that all 'Westerners' are wealthy. I may have a couple of college degrees, but I receive govt assistance. You can not have that LOL!! LEAVE POOR, CRAZY PEOPLE ALONE; I DO NOT NEED THIS!!
Map Oyacab (3 months ago)
Any of these victims heard of the word "camming"??? Yesssss if u have FB account, then u can access the messenger where u can cam with someone. Then there is skype.... unreal!
Wayne Victor Cook (3 months ago)
http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1193373763696 Miss May Claire Luyun Dating Scammer CBC Radio
L Matters (3 months ago)
This news special is just as pathetic as these women for not holding these women accountable for being so naive. It’s completely absurd to absolve the “victims” of their own personal responsibility to look out for their own well being first and foremost. For Christ sake, the lady in the film who is upset at the police for not flagging her account when she kept having so many financial transactions that she actually did herself sounded really pathetic! And how are you going call for a central authority to regulate online dating when the central authority should be innate common sense a person needs to use when a fool you’ve never met starts asking you for money. When you don’t take personal responsibility for your role in getting scammed, you’ll fail to learn the lesson because you think it’s every body else’s fault except yours for being so gullible, desperate and thirsty for attention and love. Learn to love yourself then you’ll never think you have to purchase someone else’s love to validate you. That’s exactly what these women were doing and that is trying to prove that they’re loveable and they were endeavoring to solidify their position with these creeps by giving them money. Just stop trying to be a paymaster to win a dudes affection and get some dignity about yourself this type of stuff won’t happen to you.
Gratitude Life (3 months ago)
I was helping a friend in Tanzania who I personally met. But from one loan to another....he didn’t use the money for education or the things he had asked for . I would feel bad if I could not provide the “loan” the amounts were small but nevertheless.......a scam !
Paulette (3 months ago)
They cannot be that intelligent to give away money to someone that they have never even met
deniseyweesy (3 months ago)
Right click on picture of scammer and search google for the image.
RANDOM STUFF (3 months ago)
How pleople can be so naive????? Wow
Maria Jensen (3 months ago)
.y .ou dont have to believe them beacuse you dont know if the are the real person your chatting , dont send any money .
Liz H (3 months ago)
Sad morons. Never bothered to even think and pay for a criminal background check. Most of these are sad, lonely, dumpy women who start getting into their Cinderella fantasy. Fools and their money are soon parted. Try saying the word "no".
Little Miss Muffet (3 months ago)
She was thrilled that an attractive man was interested in her and would have done anything to keep him. Unfortunately he didn't exist.
stan pritchard (3 months ago)
The majority of these site are normally based in Holland in the red light district of Amsterdam, they are mainly aimed at local dating sites where people chat, they never are allowed to chat to each other any other way, because you are charged by the message, which is normally about £1,50 oer message so if no one wants to meet delete it cos your being scammed
Anti-theist (3 months ago)
Stupid bitch, don't start apportioning blame to the banks.
isbsey (3 months ago)
This scam is even worse when it is your husband abroad saying he is in trouble and needing large amounts of money to get him home, only to find he has set himself up nicely in Thailand and left you and his children with nothing. In the same way as these poor women, the Police can do nothing because they have no jurisdiction outside Europe and no extradition partnerships with far and middle East countries. I don't know who feels worse, the woman who trusted a stranger who groomed her or the wife who trusted her husband who told her he loved her for the last 20 years.
Justmiss jamey (14 days ago)
I wouldnt think after 20 years it would be a scam
Dont Stalk Me (3 months ago)
Ive actually been lucky never gave money meet them in public. Id pay for a date,about it lol
Charletta Ramono (3 months ago)
Education does NOT Equal intelligence. Stop saying that! You are making them look stupid-er🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
Louise Conroy (3 months ago)
It's ego and delusion. These women are all rich. The men scamming are better looking and younger. In real life they wouldn't be attracted to them for obvious reasons. They are not being realistic about them self. It's the flattery that hooks them. That's the truth...stupid
because I can (3 months ago)
These people are not victims these people are stupid why the hell would you send somebody money that you've never met that you don't know you can't buy love keep your money in your pocket stop searching for a man and sit down be still and maybe God will send you one
no1froggy (3 months ago)
This only goes to show, That being highly educated does not automatically qualify you to possess common sense.
Amir Shoufany (3 months ago)
Wow?
Valerie Hayes (3 months ago)
Women tend to be very relationship oriented. The perp already knows what she is looking for. He appeals to the emotions and makes her feel attractive and desirable. In turn, she has this fictional image of him that she does not want to let go of. It's kind of like believing in Santa Claus. Fraudsters are very bold and they always have a hidden agenda. It's better to just steer clear, live your life and stay busy.
All Will Be Well (3 months ago)
You can't stop these people from sending their own money. They sometimes have an empty place in them that needs to be needed and wanted and sending money helps fill this empty place temporarily. Or they think of it as an investment that will enable them to be together with that person in the future. Dating sites need to do a better job of warning users never to send money for any reason.
Elizabeth Cameron (3 months ago)
In the end if people choose to believe a lie they will, nothing anyone can do to save them. Something simple as asking the person to take a photo of themselves that matches their profile pic with a paper in hand with your name and date would help so many. If They don't want to video chat in good lighting delete them! Don't date people who are not within reasonable driving distance!
misty blue (3 months ago)
Years ago,when I was on a dating site...Lots of men ended up just wanting sex...in the guise of wanting a relationship.Lots of people have ulterior motives when on a dating site.Sex and money are 2 main ones...Beware.
Sheila Greasley-Rush (3 months ago)
You can be scammed oniine as well as by those who you see everyday in your life - scam is scam - it does not matter who does the scamming
Katey Hero (4 months ago)
Sorry but Nancy needs to take some responsibilty and stop blaming the bank
Revenant (4 months ago)
It’s interesting that these overweight and homely women think that these handsome businessmen, engineers and military guys would be interested in pursuing a romantic future with them. The self deception is galling. Most women are like overgrown children.
Rosy O'Rose (16 days ago)
@Revenant....Now now....They're just the same as middle aged, fat and balding guys falling for gorgeous young, Thai and Eastern European girls...….Being an overgrown child is not just the preserve of females!....Just saying! xD
million zillion (4 months ago)
it is a shame i cannot get to know these dumb women.i like to know them,lol
dave watson (4 months ago)
WTF 300K .POOR LADY,I AM SORRY BUT HOW CAN ANYONE SEND MONEY TO SOMEONE YOU HAVE NEVER MET.I AM ON DATING SITE SOME WOMAN ASK FOR MONEY I NEVER SEND THEM ANY I JUST DELETE THEM
simon Rowley (4 months ago)
Stupid woman deserved it.she sent the money willingly.dont blame the bank but yourself.he he
simon Rowley (4 months ago)
Please all you dumb ass women send me 100 k as I want to have a sex change.he he.
simon Rowley (4 months ago)
Stupid beyond belief.how come I can't find such women? I like to know such women,lol
Yvonne Bales (4 months ago)
Would you like to send me 500 thousand dollars to buy a house for my son who will be alone when I die ..as long as he can work and has a job he can pay the rent if not it is the street for him ".. some people can effort it...think of this crazy woman asking you all that moola,,,,make our dream come true it will make you feel so good..
beth keady (4 months ago)
Judith shouldn't feel bad, I am also an educated woman and had someone charm me out of 600 dollars..
Vitrix1130 (5 months ago)
Intelligent yes maybe , common sense NO !!!
Vitrix1130 (5 months ago)
These woman are nuts , sending a few bucks yeh maybe but Thousands !!! you get conned online and send that much without even meeting the person then you deserve what you get .
D Will (5 months ago)
The solution to the scam problem is to stop the money flow to scammers. Scam happens because the money transferring institutions, who are well aware of what is happening are letting this be. Time to change that. Check out the Facebook closed group: One Scammer at a time. Get to see the real face of Marcelo.
stelun56 (5 months ago)
Nat westminster encourages this kind of thing because they are only interested in commission, transfer fees and so on.
tinyyuki (6 months ago)
All these women generally look the same. White, raggedy blonde hair and/or spectacles of some sort. I find it very hard to harbour pity for them as there is a clear lack of common sense exhibited here! The only redeeming and I suppose sad factor here is that these women are so desperate to find true love or companionship, that logic and common sense go out the bloody window!
Floyd1504 (6 months ago)
These girls just have to hire a male escort for a few hours. All they're really needing is a good hard fuck. 😁
Gillers Gillers (6 months ago)
Lonely, looking for love, wanting to believe...All factors.  Wanting to help a person as well (nothing to do with love).  I gave a beggar who looked richer than me in a smart suit with a sob story of losing his wallet and 'phone - and needing some cash or change to get somewhere...stranded  in the snow - Iactually thought his life was in potential danger.  I gave him half of all the money I had on me and in my old banger mondeo - about £3.  I would have given him my last tenner if I had it!  More fool me - he'd been hanging round the hospital for a few days with the same story.  Don't Trust.  Don't think your like that poor person out of the bible who gave their last coin.  Wake up.  It's tough isn't it?
Michelle Weger (6 months ago)
not only in the U K in the U s too I lost over 10.000
Irma Newton (6 months ago)
So I really feel bad for all these people that are scammed. How can this happen?
Irma Newton (6 months ago)
I met a man online in a Yahoo chat room, in 2001. Then, Internet scams were unknown. We met in person the next year. Thank God internet scams hadn't started! That man is my husband today. We live together and we're happy!
Master Yoda (6 months ago)
Obviously you can’t protect some people from themselves, and their gullibility (as per this video), but governments have to clean up the internet dating industry, because self regulation is not working. And many of the dating sites, are also participating in all kinds of scams, eg. fake profiles, skewed gender ratios, sending fake messages to suck in new members.
none ofurbizness (6 months ago)
That woman said 'the people falling for these scams aren't stupid'..... er no - these people are the definition of stupid

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