Our Economic Crime Unit has developed a new romance fraud e-booklet in partnership with Dr Elisabeth Carter, Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Forensic Linguist at the University of Roehampton.

This booklet has been designed to demonstrate the clever tactics used by romance fraudsters with a view to empowering the knowledge of our communities.

It also dispels the myths of shame and embarrassment often associated with this crime by highlighting the link to coercive control.

We are working to ensure the romance fraud e-booklet fully meets all accessibility requirements.

What is a romance fraud?

Romance frauds happen when the victim thinks they’ve met the perfect partner through an online dating website or app, but the other person is using a fake profile to form a relationship with them. They’re using the site to gain the victim’s trust and ask them for money or enough personal information to steal their identity.

How does it happen?

Romance fraudsters are masters of manipulation and will go to great lengths to create a false reality in which an individual feels that they are making reasonable and rational decisions.

The challenge for many family and friends of romance fraud victims is being able to disrupt the false reality created to enable the victim to see the situation for what it really is - a fraud.

For more advice about romance fraud, please visit https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/personal-fraud/dating-holiday-ticketing-fraud/

To view Dr Carter’s complete academic paper that inspired the booklet, please visit https://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azaa072 where it will be available for free for one month from 15 November 2020.