Heartbreaking Fraud

As Valentine's Day approaches, love is undoubtedly in the air, but unfortunately, so is the risk of identity theft within the online dating sphere. APLYiD, a leading expert in identity verification, aims to shed light on the alarming rise of identity theft in the dating industry and the devastating impact it has on victims worldwide.

The Growing Threat of Online Dating Scams:  

In a world where digital connections are more prevalent than ever; millions of people are turning to online platforms in search of love. However, with this increased connectivity comes the unfortunate reality of identity theft within the dating industry. According to recent statistics, a staggering 22% of people in the UK have fallen victim to romance fraud. In countries such as India, these statics rise to 66%, emphasising the urgency of addressing this issue.

How Fraudsters Exploit Identities:

Fraudsters are cunning in their tactics, often resorting to stealing identities to pursue victims and manipulate them emotionally. By assuming false identities, these criminals establish rapport with unsuspecting individuals, exploiting the trusting nature of online relationships. In America 50% of individuals who have used a dating app in the last five years have experienced ‘Catfishing’. This term refers to an individual luring a victim into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona. Once trust is established, fraudsters leverage emotions to coerce victims into providing money, gifts, and, most dangerously, personal details. Barclays reported, that on average victims of romance fraud on lose over £10,000, with people aged 51 to 60 the most susceptible.

The Emotional Manipulation Game:  

Online dating scams thrive on the exploitation of emotions, as fraudsters target the vulnerabilities of individuals seeking love and companionship. These criminals skilfully build trust with their victims, fostering a false sense of intimacy that facilitates the manipulation of emotions. Unbeknownst to the victims, this emotional connection becomes a tool for coercion, leading them to provide financial support or share sensitive personal information, ultimately exposing them to impending danger.

Claire Spencer, a UK resident, shared her harrowing experience on This Morning ITV in 2023. Falling victim to a scam, Claire was deceived into parting with hundreds of pounds by an individual posing as a struggling single father with children to support. Regrettably, this fabricated narrative served as a ploy for the scammer to exploit Claire, resulting in not only financial loss but also shattering the trust she had built within the online dating community. This stark example underscores the need for heightened awareness and protective measures against such emotionally manipulative tactics in the realm of online dating.

The Ripple Effect of Stolen Identities:  

While the immediate impact of online dating scams can be financial, the long-term consequences often extend to severe identity theft. Personal details obtained during these scams serve as a gateway for fraudsters to commit further crimes, jeopardising victims' financial security, reputation, and overall well-being. Here are some things to look out for as you venture into the world of online dating;


  • If the person you are messaging replies in seconds, it could be a Spam Bot. They may also suggest moving to email or another messaging service.

  • They don’t have a digital footprint. Often scammers will lack a digital footprint as they create fake profiles. Have a quick google search to see if you confirm their information.
  • Scammers often use ‘love bombing’ techniques to manipulate their victims. If they are claiming love after a short period of time be aware they could be using your emotions against you.
  • If they ask for money or personal details. Try ask someone you trust for a second opinion on whether this seems genuine. Usually, outsiders are able to see things more clearly.
  • If the dating app you are using employs an identity verification provider during sign-up, it is usually a positive indicator for a safer social space.

APLYiD's Role in Safeguarding Identities:  

As we celebrate the season of love, it's crucial to remain vigilant in the digital realm. APLYiD stands as a guardian, protecting individuals globally against identity theft. Specialising in cutting-edge identity verification solutions, APLYiD empowers dating platforms and users alik to protect themselves from fraudsters. By implementing robust identity verification measures, individuals can enjoy the benefits of online dating without compromising their safety and security. Together, we can combat the rising tide of identity theft, ensuring that love blossoms without the shadow of fraud.

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