An man in his 80s was left unable to buy food and considered taking his own life after being tricked by a con artist on a dating site.
The man from Derbyshire became a victim of what police call "romance fraud", after developing feelings for a woman he was speaking to online.
The victim, who has chosen to remain anonymous, was devastated when he discovered the woman was a fraud who had racked up a £6,000 debt on his credit card.
The man is telling his story as part of Scam Awareness Month, to try to avoid others having similar experiences.
Derbyshire Police are giving out their five top tips on how to avoid falling victim to this sort of crime:
- Never give money to people you meet online, no matter what emotional story the person uses.
- Avoid giving away too many personal details when dating online. Revealing your full name, date of birth and home address may lead to your identity being stolen.
- Never send or receive money or give away your bank details to someone you’ve only met online, no matter how much you trust them or believe their story.
- Pick a reputable dating website and use the site’s messaging service. Fraudsters tend to want to quickly switch to social media or texting so there’s no evidence of them asking you for money.
- If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.