Speed Reading — Romance Fraud - Level 5 — 200 wpm

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People looking for love on the Internet need to be cautious. There was a 20 per cent spike in romance fraud last year. UK Finance reported that increased cyber-fraud coincided with a rise in the number of people looking for a partner online. Feelings of loneliness and isolation during the coronavirus pandemic increased this number. There was a big rise in the number of 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."

The Online Dating Association reported that 2.3 million British citizens used dating apps during lockdown. Cyber criminals took advantage of them. A total of $26 million was lost in bank transfer fraud. The average loss per victim was around $11,000. A UK bank said people aged 55 to 64 are the most vulnerable. A fraud expert said: "Any online platform that allows you to connect with and talk to other people 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 for things like medical care.

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