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If you’re suspicious, turn to Google: search their name and “dating scam” or do a Google image search to see whether they’ve taken someone else’s picture or one that’s easily available online.

If you find the picture is a fake, report the profile to the dating site immediately.

En español | In the old days, you most likely would meet Mr. Right in college, on the job, maybe in a bar or though family and friends.

Today, people are increasingly getting together through online dating — especially if they're over 50.

One of the most common techniques is to build up trust with the person by messaging for weeks or even months before suddenly having an emergency - the fake person being mugged but their daughter needing urgent surgery, for example - and asking for money.

But then they suddenly need money for rent too, then food, then medical fees, and it can quickly escalate.

And a lot of the time, you’re not just talking to one person behind each profile - you could be exchanging messages with a circle of fraudsters acting together, according to KIS Finance.

Serious fraudsters sometimes even create further fake profiles and use them to be rude to you, all to make the main fake profile seem more desirable.

She presents herself as a student, also with a degree and no interest in politics.

After a couple of months, he said he had to go to the Middle East for an oil rig refurbishment and even sent Jane pictures of him in his hardhat on the rig.

She was all set to meet him at the airport when he suddenly messaged saying his funds had dried up and he needed £5,000.

And it’s not just particularly vulnerable people who fall victim either.

“[It’s] not the case that stupid people fall for romance scams - they can be very clever,” Professor Monica Whitty, a cyber-psychologist, explains. Scamalytics, a company which runs anti-scammer software for a number of the major dating sites, are trying to reduce online dating fraud by creating profiles of the average male and female con artist.

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