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After a couple of months, he said he had to go to the Middle East for an oil rig refurbishment and even sent Jane pictures of him in his hardhat on the rig.

She was all set to meet him at the airport when he suddenly messaged saying his funds had dried up and he needed £5,000.

One of the most common techniques is to build up trust with the person by messaging for weeks or even months before suddenly having an emergency - the fake person being mugged but their daughter needing urgent surgery, for example - and asking for money.

But then they suddenly need money for rent too, then food, then medical fees, and it can quickly escalate.

Nancy is now facing bankruptcy, and although her case is extreme, the average victim of online dating fraud loses £10,000 according to Action Fraud.It was only when her money transfer was blocked due to a security alert around the man’s name that she realised something was wrong.Not long after, Jane discovered an ex-colleague nearby had been scammed by the same man at the same time and she’d had a very lucky escape.The female profile is in her 20s (29 was the most common age), and also has a high income.She presents herself as a student, also with a degree and no interest in politics.

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