The Greatest Sia
14 February 2012, 06:00
A warning has been issued over online scamsters operating on dating sites.
Norfolk Trading Standards have issued a statement ahead of Valentine's Day, urging people to be extra cautious should they be asked for money by someone they?ve met on the Internet.
The warning comes after a woman from the Breckland area lost a total of £15,000 to an individual claiming to be a gentleman from Afghanistan.
Ann Jackson, Norfolk's senior trading standards officer, said "This is a very sad tale, where a lady seeking a relationship had her trust built up through regular contact on an online dating site, only to be exploited."
She was contacted multiple times by an individual claiming to be a courier, saying the gift had been held up and there was a charge to pay. Despite paying several of these, she never received the gift. The suitor also declared his feelings for her and asked for help buying a visa so he could visit her.
Because she paid by money transfer, it is highly unlikely she will have her money returned to her.
It's important that people with any concerns contact Trading Standards before sending any money to people they've met on the Internet. Ann warns, "Whilst there are many genuine people out there looking for love on dating sites, her story, and the consequences of handing over money are certainly worth bearing in mind."