VIDEO: Online romance fraud victim left heartbroken

Maggie Philips, from the East Midlands, is a vicitm of fraud after a man she met on an online dating site conned her out of more than  �20,000

Maggie Philips, from the East Midlands, is a vicitm of fraud after a man she met on an online dating site conned her out of more than �20,000

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A heartbroken woman has shared her story about how a fraudster conned her out of more than £20,000 after meeting on an online dating site.

Maggie Philips, from the East Midlands, was contacted by a criminal posing as a US Army officer over an Internet dating site.

He convinced her to send him money for air fares, legal fees and more, promising to move to the UK to build a life with her - totalling higher than £20,000 over many months.

And with online dating becoming increasingly popular in today’s society, police have re-released a film to help raise awareness of romance fraud.

Detective Constable Julie Wheeladon, from the East Midlands Fraud and Financial Investigation Unit, said: “Dating and romance scammers lower your defences by building an online relationship with you and many people, both men and women, have lost huge amounts of money to online dating scammers.

“Always consider your personal safety if you arrange to meet someone through a dating website and always let your friends and family know where you will be.

“Make sure that you are using a legitimate website, be wary about revealing your personal information and never send any money to a person you have never met or to anyone you don’t know or trust.

“If you think that you may have been a victim of romance fraud, break all contact immediately, do not send any further funds and report the fraudster to Action Fraud, along with the website or chat room operator.”

If you think that you have been a victim of fraud, contact the non-emergency police number on 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

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