Barclays issues warning after man targeted in cruel online scam | Personal finance | Finance
Unfortunately, scams are commonplace and many criminals try to play on people’s emotions to get them to share their hard-earned money. Such was the case with Mark*, who only realized he had been tricked into a scam until it was too late – with sad consequences.
Mark had created a profile on a dating app hoping to find love, but scammers were on the prowl, looking for their next victim.
While using the app, Mark was contacted by a man, and they quickly struck up a conversation.
Soon the couple switched from dating to communicating over the phone, but that was just the start of a nightmare.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Mark said: “He was too affectionate.
READ MORE: Britons urged to consult key document to save for retirement
“He told me I had to transfer money to vouchers and he would collect them.”
The scammer told Mark that a small investment of £50 would be needed to create a potentially huge return, and with the prospect of making money, that seemed like a no-brainer.
Once Mark sent £50 in vouchers, the man then told him there had been a mistake with the transaction and he should send another £50.
But after this transaction, Mark’s suspicions were aroused when the man kept asking for more vouchers.
He realized he had been scammed when he refused to send more vouchers, and the man became “not so nice”.
READ MORE: ‘Worst BoE boss ever’ takes huge interest rate gamble
Mark added: “I was really ashamed. I decided to make some money and ended up losing £100 in a matter of moments.
“My word of warning to others is not to trust the things people say behind a screen, especially when you don’t know them away from the screen!”
Unfortunately, Mark has fallen victim to what is commonly referred to as a romance scam, which can target people looking for love.
Romance scams occur when a person expresses interest in a romantic relationship with the intention of manipulating a person into sending them money.
Barclays estimates that this type of scam can cost victims an average of £4,090, and it’s quite easy for people to get tricked.
As a result, the bank stressed that it was vital for Britons to remain vigilant when dating online, as many of these scams occur through tech platforms.
According to the bank, the most susceptible group is people between the ages of 51 and 60, with this group accounting for more than a third of all money lost to romance scams.
Ross Martin, head of digital security at Barclays, said: “Dating apps can be a great way to meet people, but it’s important to remember that not everyone you talk to will have the best intentions.
“Scammers can use dating apps and social media sites to trick you into sending them money.
“You should never feel pressured to do this. If something looks suspicious or doesn’t feel right to you, stop engaging with the profile and talk to someone you trust for a second opinion.”
*name has been changed to protect the identity of those involved.