China Overseas Chinese Network, May 8th. According to the British "Hua Wen Weekly" WeChat public account "Hua Wen Pai", since the outbreak of the new crown epidemic in the UK, various new fraud methods have emerged one after another.
Recently, there have been increasing cases of fraudulent use of online dating in the UK.
According to reports, many British Chinese have recently become targets of such scams.
Among the victims who were deceived, some lost more than 100,000 pounds.
On April 24, the British "Guardian" reported a real case of Chinese online dating being defrauded.
A 23-year-old Chinese male named Ryan Chen (pseudonym) met a woman who lives in Manchester, England through dating software.
This woman is about his age and looks very attractive.
So when she asked Mr. Chen for his Facebook and personal information, Mr. Chen immediately happily shared the information with her.
Later, the woman asked to exchange some private photos with Mr. Chen. After she sent a private video of herself, in return, Mr. Chen also sent her a video.
After that, the woman did not reply to Mr. Chen for several hours.
After a while, she sent Mr. Chen a list of friends she downloaded from Mr. Chen's Facebook, and told Mr. Chen that she already knew who was Mr. Chen's cousin on the list.
"She wants me to transfer $4,000 to her account, otherwise she will send my private video to all my Facebook friends." Mr. Chen said.
Mr. Chen realized that he had encountered online dating scams.
He then searched the Internet and found that some similar victims had lost their homes and jobs because their private information was exposed, which made him even more afraid.
Mr. Chen thought at the time that “if you don’t follow suit, you may also be subjected to similar'retaliation'.”
In panic, he opened the website of the National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom and followed the above advice on dealing with online dating scams.
After that, Mr. Chen fell into a kind of anxiety and insomnia all night.
At the same time, it also calmed him down completely.
Mr. Chen decisively contacted the police, but he was unable to provide more information about the criminals, and the police were unable to take corresponding actions for the time being.
He also contacted his cousins to remind them that they might receive information from scammers.
In the following three months, criminals continued to send various messages to Mr. Chen, threatening to publish his private video.
Mr. Chen told her that he was not afraid of threats and that if she wanted to publish, please feel free to do so.
Later, Mr. Chen never received any information from the woman.
In the past year, due to the new crown epidemic, people have spent more and more time at home.
Some people are eager for someone to accompany or talk with others, and online dating scams in the UK are becoming more and more rampant.
According to data provided by the British Financial Industry Association, from January to November 2020, bank transfer fraud related to love fraud increased by 20% year-on-year.
From January to November 2020, the total amount of such scams increased by 12% to 18.5 million pounds, and victims lost an average of 7850 pounds.
In addition, in 2020, the number of online dating fraud reported by the Fraud Reporting Center under the National Crime Agency has also increased by 15%.
In the past 18 months, the reporting center has received more than 7,000 reports, with a total loss of 69.7 million pounds, and an average loss of nearly 10,000 pounds per victim.
Usually, some scam gangs will find their targets through dating websites or online social platforms, interact with victims in the name of love, and then lure the other party to participate in so-called investment or gambling.
The Fraud Reporting Center said, “Although both men and women may be victims, our evidence shows that men between the ages of 19 and 35 are the main targets of criminals.” A spokesperson for the center said.
"Most sex blackmail crimes are controlled by organized criminal groups, and most of them are located overseas. For them, this is a low-risk and profitable way. But for victims, the impact may be long-lasting. In some of the fraud activities reported to us, victims made themselves through bank transfers, sending gift cards, vouchers, gifts (such as mobile phones and laptops) to the fraudsters, or by providing criminals with bank information. Suffered property damage."
The National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom also revealed to the Guardian: “Internet dating fraud is an international crime and therefore requires a joint transnational response. The National Crime Agency has been negotiating with international law enforcement partners on how to better solve this problem and protect the victims. And hold the criminals accountable."
How to deal with online dating fraud?
The National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom has proposed the following responses:
1. Don't panic: The first step is to recognize that you are a victim and you may need all kinds of support to solve a series of problems you encounter.
2. Don't pay: Relevant experience shows that although some victims have paid, this does not guarantee that criminals will not release relevant private information, and they are more likely to make further requests.
3. Do not continue to communicate with criminals: If the victim continues to respond to these threats, it will give the criminals an illusion that they may persuade the person to pay the ransom.
4. Call the police and seek support: You can contact the local police to report the crime and dial 101.
If the victim is under the age of 18, consider seeking support from a trusted adult. In addition, additional support can be obtained through "child exploitation and online protection."
If the victim is in the UK, you can call the UK Fraud Reporting Centre hotline or report the crime online.