Don't let this Valentine's Day break your heart

Contributed by editor on Feb 14, 2009 - 07:00 AM

Valentine's Day has arrived but beware, you could lose more than you bargained for.

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Kent Trading Standards are warning of scams involving
the victim joining an online dating service or being contacted by
someone who is looking for romance, but happens to live overseas.

Before long the scam victim will be asked for money by their online
date, typically this is due to some financial emergency, such as
hospital bills for a sick child, or it may be to buy an airline ticket
as they are stranded abroad. They will be asked to send the money using
an untraceable source, such as a telegraphic money transfer. The scammer
will disappear with the cash.

This is National Flirting Week and Kent Trading Standards wishes you to
be safe. Only use reputable online dating or chat services and do not
respond to unsolicited e-mails. Never send money to someone you do no
know, no matter how plausible they may sound.

Victims of these scams often do not report it as they are ashamed at
having been conned or because they feel embarrassed for using a dating
service, but the people who run these scams are clever and sophisticated
and know how to persuade us to part with our cash.

Always report the matter to the dating site and Consumer Direct online

Information on Scams can also be found at
or call 08454 04 05 06