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  1. ITV Report

Islanders warned of romance fraud as £350,000 lost to scammers

Catfishing and romance fraud have caused people in Jersey to lose £350,000 in 2019. Credit: Patrick Pleul/DPA/PA Images

More than £350,000 has been stolen from people in Jersey in 2019 through romance fraud and catfishing scams.

Scammers are said to be targeting islanders through online dating websites, luring vulnerable people in by fake profiles. The victims are then targeted for their money.

It is a type of ‘financial grooming’ and we are becoming increasingly concerned by the number of islanders who are falling victim and losing their life savings to this type of crime. We are reminding islanders to always make sure they know who they’re communicating with online. Never give out personal information or transfer money, unless you are absolutely sure you know the person and their intentions.

– Detective Chief Inspector Chris Beechey, chairman of the Jersey Fraud Prevention Forum
  • Tips to spot a potential 'catfish':
  • They ask for money soon after you start speaking. This could be so they can visit you.
  • They have a low number of Facebook friends, or parts of their profile do not match up.
  • Avoiding face-to-face contact, over video calls.
  • Trust your instinct, if something does not feel right it might not be.