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06-Mar-2019 15:24

, users are being warned to be vigilant while online, particularly as the fraudster's tactics are becoming more elaborate.

Action Fraud UK, the country's fraud and internet crime reporting centre, says it has been alerted to new methods used by dating fraudsters.

• Never send money or give credit card or online account details to anyone you don’t know and trust.

• Communicate with people locally and not from overseas, although you should be aware that someone might tell you they are in the same country as you when they are not.

According to recent figures, these requests for cash appear to be working.

There were 651 dating scams reported in the three months to August this year, with the average victim paying out £9,589.

They might say a family member is ill and they need funds for urgent medical treatment.

They will then ask the victim to pay, and if they do, the fraudster might also ask them to pay for the flight. "Fraudsters claim they have found a box containing gold, silver, money and jewels (or any one of them) in the desert and have sent it out of the country to set up a future together with the victim," said Action Fraud UK.

"However, this box is now stuck in (x) country’s customs.

Ms Parke realised her mistake when Mr Cole failed to arrive at Birmingham airport where they had agreed to meet so that he could go to the bank with her and return her money.

"With great hindsight, I am fully aware of how utterly stupid I have been," said Ms Parke, "and I appreciate that there is little, if any, chance of getting my money back.

They might say a family member is ill and they need funds for urgent medical treatment.They will then ask the victim to pay, and if they do, the fraudster might also ask them to pay for the flight. "Fraudsters claim they have found a box containing gold, silver, money and jewels (or any one of them) in the desert and have sent it out of the country to set up a future together with the victim," said Action Fraud UK."However, this box is now stuck in (x) country’s customs.Ms Parke realised her mistake when Mr Cole failed to arrive at Birmingham airport where they had agreed to meet so that he could go to the bank with her and return her money."With great hindsight, I am fully aware of how utterly stupid I have been," said Ms Parke, "and I appreciate that there is little, if any, chance of getting my money back.Through subtle manipulation, the fraudster encouraged Ms Parke to pay up.