There was a 20 per cent rise in romance fraud last year. Loneliness and isolation during the coronavirus pandemic increased this number. This cyber-fraud coincided with a rise in the number of people looking for a partner online. There was a big rise in scams related to dating apps. UK Finance said: "Romance scams can leave customers out of love and out of pocket....Scammers can be very convincing by forming an emotional attachment with their victims."
Cyber criminals took advantage of dating apps during lockdowns. People lost a total of $26 million in bank transfer fraud. The average loss per victim was around $11,000. A UK bank said older people are most vulnerable. A fraud expert said: "Any online platform...could be targeted by romance fraudsters, so it's important to remain vigilant." She urged people to be careful if an online love interest asks for money.