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Authorities are [purging / urging] those looking for love on the Internet to be cautious. There was a 20 per cent spike [on / in] online romance fraud last year. The organisation UK Finance reported that cyber fraud increased considerably and [coincidence / coincided] with a rise in the number of people looking for a partner online. This has been exacerbated [of / by] feelings of loneliness and isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. There was a [sharp / blunt] rise in the number of scams related to [dating / dated] sites and around Valentine's Day. UK Finance said: "Romance scams can leave customers out of [love / loves] and out of [packet / pocket] ." It warned: "Romance scammers can be very convincing [of / by] forming an emotional attachment with their [volumes / victims] ."

The Online Dating Association in the UK reported that around 2.3 million British citizens used dating apps [while / during] lockdown. Cyber criminals have taken advantage [of / to] this to scam people. A total of $26 million is believed to have [being / been] lost in bank transfer fraud. The average [lost / loss] per victim is around $11,000. [According / Accorded] to data from a UK bank, people aged 55 to 64 are the most [venerable / vulnerable] to romance fraud. Pauline Smith, a fraud [expat / expert] , said: "Any online platform that allows you to connect with and talk to other people could be [targeted / aimed] by romance fraudsters, so it's important to remain [valiant / vigilant] ." She urged extreme caution if an online love interest requests money for things like medical [caring / care] .

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