Police have urged caution after people have lost thousands of pounds giving money to scammers who they thought they were in a relationship with.
Ploice say Facebook is among the platforms being used by scammers to find potential victims.
Police say fraudsters are using mainly Facebook and emails to target single people in their 60’s. After making an emotional connection, fraudsters ask for large amounts of money for things such as family and travel emergencies or other problems before leaving with the money, costing each victim an average of £18,000.
PC Bernadette Lawrie has called the actions of these fraudsters “despicable”.
Bernadette Lawrie: “Romance fraud, although accounting for only 10 of all fraud reports, is one of the most despicable crimes we see. The victims can be among the most challenging to deal with as they are often in denial that the fraudster they are in contact with is not genuine - until it is too late”
The police have advised never to give money or reveal personal information to people who you do not know or trust, and to check that people are who they say they are.