Dating scams

Online dating is a popular way to meet new people.

But fraudsters use fake profiles to try to steal money.

This guide can help you avoid this kind of scam.

If you connect with someone on a dating site, app or chat room, make sure they’re genuine.

The last thing you want to do is fall for a scam and not in love.

Tips to avoid dating scams

  • A common scam is for someone to pretend to like you then ask for money. Only a fraudster would do this.

    If somebody asks you for money or for your banking details, it’s a scam.

  • Fake dating profiles are after only one thing – your money. They can use stories of bad luck or illness to play with your emotions. And may arrange to meet, but a problem will always get in the way. Their life is full of problems that only money can fix. Your money.

    Your money should never come be a part of any dating chat.

    Here are a few more tell-tale signs of a dating scam:

    • Let’s chat elsewhere - They want to move the chat to another app, like WhatsApp.
    • Like you lots - Quickly express strong feelings for you, even love.
    • Can’t meet in person - Their job stops them from meeting up. Being in the military, working abroad or on oil rigs are common cover stories.
    • Odd profile - Pictures could be fake or of a celebrity, or it doesn’t have much about their life.
    • Can’t video call - Phone or internet problems stop them from chatting on video.
    • Give you a pet name - This stops them using the wrong name, as they chat to lots of people at the same time.
  • Some dating sites, apps and chat rooms offer advice that can help you spot fake profiles and scams.

    Before you start using any service to date online, read their advice.

  • Fraudsters can use fake dating profiles to find 'money mules'. A 'money mule' is a person who helps to move stolen money for a fee.

    Only a fraudster would ask you to accept money into your account then move it to another account.

    This is a serious crime. If you do this, you could be charged for breaking the law.

  • If you meet someone online and you’re not sure what to do, talk to your family and friends. They may be able to help you decide if they’re genuine or not.

    And lastly, don’t be afraid to end an online relationship. Keep your heart and your money safe.

  • Take Five

    You can get straight forward, impartial advice on how to avoid scams from Take Five.

    Action Fraud

    You can report a crime or get general advice from Action Fraud. They help banks and other companies combat fraud.

    Get Safe Online

    They offer advice on how to keep yourself and your devices safe from fraud.

    UK Finance

    UK Finance is there to support customers and to help make sure it's safe to bank.

    Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)

    The PRA is part of the Bank of England. Their role is to make sure banks act safely and reduce the chance of them losing money.

    Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

    The FCA is there to make sure banks work well so customers are protected and get a fair deal.


    CIFAS can help to protect your identity. They can stop fraudsters from using your details to apply for things in your name.

    Cyber Aware

    This is a government site that gives advice on how to stay safe online.


    This is part of the FCA site. You can use it to check on an investment or pension deals to help you avoid scams.

    Bank of Scotland does not control the content of any of the websites linked to on this page.

Think you’ve fallen for a scam?

You should contact us right away if you think you’ve been scammed. We can then guide you on what to do next.

Contact us now

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