The effective recommendations of Professors to avoid dating fraud


Romantic illusions allow online dating fraud to flourish

Since international criminal gangs more and more target social networking and online dating sites, as a way of wringing out money of unwary victims, research done by the ESRC tells that entirely new methods are needed for struggling with the crime.

The research that was accomplished by Professor of University of Leicester Monica Whitty and Professor of the University of Westminster Tom Buchanan, consolidates in the opinion that the dating companies, doctors, policy-makers and police have to consider the emotional state of people who have been defrauded, in order to preclude the crime, bring cheats to justice and provide victims with effective support.

“Professionals have to understand the terrible details of these crimes,” Professor Whitty says. “In romance scams, users have to deal with not just losing a lot of money. They have to undergo the psychological problem of being both jilted and robbed by a ‘lover’.” The criminals make a show that they are searching for a partner, in reality, they intend to get some money from their naïve lover.

So, what do we need?

The study tells that dating sites need to provide clear warnings on the websites so that members are aware of probable dangers ahead of falling in love. Though the persons questioned by Professor Whitty got suspicious about asking money from them, they were so enamored with their false ‘lover’ by that time they chose to neglect the warning signs.

“Users need to be informed, from the time they register, that if a date will not to meet them during the first month users should move on. Users also should be informed never to answer to requests for some money. Dating companies can target advice at especially vulnerable persons particularly those with high love ideals, preceding mental health traumas or some abuses” Professor Whitty says. The study demonstrates that victims don’t usually want to admit when they are informed that their ‘sweetheart’ is false intended to extort money. Moreover, victims can turn to suicide when the fraud is exposed. So the police should call health professionals when the scam is reported. Doctors have to also be informed of the suicidal tendencies of a victim.

Professor Whitty has been closely working with courts in some dating scam cases. A lot of her recommendations has been already taken on board. Today Professor is also cooperating with Serious Organised Crime Agency and with crime prevention organisations.

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