Authorities are urging those looking love the Internet to be cautious. There was a 20 per cent spike online romance fraud last year. The organisation UK Finance reported that cyber fraud increased considerably and coincided a rise in the number of people looking a partner online. This has been exacerbated feelings of loneliness and isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. There was a sharp rise in the number of scams related to dating sites and Valentine's Day. UK Finance said: "Romance scams can leave customers of love and out of pocket." It warned: "Romance scammers can be very convincing forming an emotional attachment their victims."
The Online Dating Association the UK reported that 2.3 million British citizens used dating apps during lockdown. Cyber criminals have taken advantage this to scam people. A total of $26 million is believed to have been lost bank transfer fraud. The average loss victim is $11,000. According to data a UK bank, people aged 55 to 64 are the most vulnerable to romance fraud. Pauline Smith, a fraud expert, said: "Any online platform that allows you to connect and talk to other people could be targeted romance fraudsters, so it's important to remain vigilant." She urged extreme caution if an online love interest requests money things like medical care.