CHESHIRE Police and Crime Commissioner, John Dwyer, is asking people in the area to look out for signs of romance fraud scams which see a spike in numbers between now and February 14. 

This comes after Action Fraud and London City Police launched an awareness campaign surrounding romance related scams, which have seen nearly £92 million lost over the last year.

Local constabularies and crime commissioners around the UK have also joined in to help promote the scheme in local areas.

John said: “In my police and crime plan, I set out my commitment to tackling fraud and cybercrime, which includes online scams such as romance fraud. I will ensure that the constabulary has the most up-to-date technology to enable them to do this effectively.

“Scammers and cyber criminals have been able to hone their craft throughout the pandemic as more of our interactions have been online. This can mean that some of their tactics may be difficult for people to spot.

“If you know someone who has started an online relationship recently and are worried they may be a victim of fraud, try and chat to them about it. Romance fraudsters will spend a large amount of time gaining their victim’s trust. In the beginning they may make no mention of money in order to establish a love connection, but they will build up to it.”

According to the Action Fraud website, in March last year there was a spike of 901 reports surrounding romance scams relating to relationships struck up between Christmas and Valentine’s day which saw losses of £8.7 million.

A further spike in May saw further losses of £14.6 million relating to cases surrounding this issue, further showing the damage these types of scams can cause. 

John added: “Once a connection is formed, then the criminals will ask for money, and the victim might hand it over without giving it a second thought. We need to ensure these types of eye-watering sums are not lost to fraudsters.
“If you can chat to your friends and family members about the warning signs and make them aware of what is going on, we may be able to stop some of these fraudsters in their tracks.”

Things to look out for relating to romance fraud scams:

Romance fraudsters use many tactics to successfully steal money from their victims. Some of the main things to look out for can include: 

1.    Asking for money to travel to see the victim
2.    Asking for money to pay for emergency medical treatment or expenses
3.    Offering lucrative investment opportunities
4.    Claims to working overseas or in the armed forces

To help protect people who are online dating from falling victims to these types of traps then follow these steps to ensure full security:

1.    Help friends and family to ensure they have adequate privacy settings on their social media accounts to prevent strangers from having access to their personal information.
2.    Stay in regular contact with friends and family who are online dating to help spot any changes in behaviour.
3.    Make friends and family aware of the signs of romance fraud so that they are conscious of the tactics used to carry out these scams and reiterate that you should never transfer money to someone that you have never met in person.
4.    Encourage people to report cases to Action Fraud and the police if they have become a victim of romance fraud and not to be embarrassed about doing so.

For more information surrounding the scheme or to report fraud then visit or contact police on 101.