Internet dating websites for sale
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.
He says: ‘We help websites share intelligence, so if a scammer targets someone on one website this will be flagged up to others.’Classic signals that a fraudster is at work include the use of fake photos, culled from other websites, or overly elaborate language on their profile.
Winchester says: ‘Sometimes they use the same photos, but with different profiles, which is another red flag.’Many romance scams are even carried out by ‘bots’ – whose questions and responses are automated using artificial intelligence software.
Matt Connolly, founder of My Lovely Parent, aimed at older divorced or widowed customers, says it checks the IP or Internet Protocol address that pinpoints the location of computers.
David, 58, turned to online dating after the break-up of a long-term relationship.
Police figures show that 3,900 people reported being duped into parting with an average £10,000 last year through dating websites, with two thirds of victims women and one in four in their 50s.
The average time it takes for someone to start sending money to a fraudster is 30 days.
David became suspicious as the requests for cash increased.
But so sophisticated was the scam that Kerry produced a plane ticket, visa and other paperwork that all appeared genuine.