Several years after her husband died, Tina felt ready to move on with her life. Encouraged by her friends, she joined an online dating site for the over-50s, and was approached by Andrew.
A handsome widower with silver hair and a broad smile, he said had lost his wife at around the same time. They formed a close bond and were soon exchanging phone messages every day, swapping photos of their families and making plans to meet when he returned from working overseas.
The connection felt real — but the photos were stolen, used to create a fake profile. Tina was not only heartbroken, but financially broken — over the course of their online relationship, she’d been persuaded to lend “Andrew” more than £80,000.
The ugly truth is that romance scams have soared during the pandemic as millions of lonely people turn to online dating, perhaps for the first time.
Romance fraud increased by 38 per cent in 2020, according to the latest…