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25 Dec

There were 651 dating scams reported in the three months to August this year, with the average victim paying out £9,589.In July, the average payout was as high as £10,882.In another case, divorcée Suzanne Hardman, then 56, was defrauded of £170,000 by ‘James Richards’, a widower living in Portsmouth.In fact, James was a gang of Nigerian fraudsters who were later convicted.He says he’s single, honest and looking for love – just like you, in fact.All he needs is a little money to get him through a tricky situation…They want to know everything about you – your favourite food, your bucket list, your secret fears... Browns and greens are my favourite colours.’ They find real-life reference points: songs you can listen to, colours you can see and films you can watch.

Let’s wait and see.”’ So her scammer tried another tack: introducing Felix, a 14-year-old boy he had ‘saved’ in Liberia, who was temporarily living in Ghana.This helps remove you from real life and allows them to take up more space in your head.It weaves a spell that hurries the relationship into a period of hyper-intimacy.They might say a family member is ill and they need funds for urgent medical treatment.According to recent figures, these requests for cash appear to be working.