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Romantic fraud

The cruel multi-million-dollar business of scamming lonely hearts out of their money by posing online as the perfect lover.

The cruel multi-million-dollar business of scamming lonely hearts out of their money by posing online as the perfect lover.

Vishala Sri-Pathma speaks to victim David in the UK, who gave almost $20,000 to a woman he met online and hoped to marry and start a family with, before discovering "she" was actually a fraudster. Meanwhile Australian Eliza tells of her amazement at the amount of homework the con artist she encountered must have done researching her background before attempting to swindle her.

Such cases are becoming ever more common thanks to the internet, which enables scammers to mine would-be victims' social media sites for valuable information, while concealing their own identity on dating apps. David Clarke, chair of the UK fraud advisory panel, says it has made romantic fraud a valuable international criminal enterprise.

(Picture: Woman looks at smartphone while biting lip; Credit: DeanDrobot/Getty Images)

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18 minutes

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Tue 28 May 2019 12:32GMT

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