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Roses are red, violets are blue, don't let a scammer take advantage of you

By Philip Murray

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Police have urged people to beware romance scams.
Police have urged people to beware romance scams.

It may be the most romantic day of the year, but police have urged would-be love birds to beware romance scams and scammers

Police Scotland's Highlands and Islands division has used Valentine's Day to urge people across the region not to let themselves get duped by fraudsters creating fake profiles and stories in order to fleece them out of money.

A spokesperson for the force said: "It's Valentine's Day and love is in the air but unfortunately, so are romance scams.

"Romance scams involve fraudsters creating fake profiles and stories to manipulate victims into transferring large sums of money. These criminals build emotional attachments over time, often using fabricated emergencies or sob stories to exploit their targets' trust. They prey on vulnerability and loneliness, posing as soldiers stationed overseas, business executives, celebrities, or even medical professionals in need of financial support."

The force has issued a list of tips to help avoid the pitfalls posed by romance scams.

There are:

  • 1. Be wary of money requests
  • 2. Stick to the platform: You should only use reputable sites when online dating.
  • 3. Don't trust appearances: Profile pictures can be easily stolen. Use reverse image search tools to verify their authenticity. You can check photos using a reverse image search on the internet through websites like https://tineye.com/ or https://reverse.photos/.
  • 4. Do your research: Investigate the person online.
  • 5. Talk to loved ones: Share your concerns with friends and family.
  • 6. Never: Send money, share bank details, invest on their behalf, or accept parcels sent in their name.

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