Nearly €4 million stolen from victims of dating fraud last year

Victims of dating fraud were scammed out of a total of 3,744,300 euros last year, almost double the 1,651,769 euros stolen from dating fraud victims two years ago, reports based on figures from the Fraud Help Desk.

Last year, the Fraud Help Desk received 639 reports of dating fraud, compared to 412 in 2018. A total of 259 people fell victim to scams by someone pretending to date them in 2019. Victims were therefore scammed out of 14,457 euros on average. 

According to Fraud Help Desk spokesperson Tanya Wijngaarde, the amount per victim is so high because the victims are often scammed over a long period. "The perpetrators spend months, sometimes years in contact with their victims," she said to the newspaper.

The actual amount of damage may be higher, because not all victims of dating fraud report it to the help desk, she added.