Scams can appear in all sorts of guises. From phone calls and text messages to emails and letters.
There are so many ways fraudsters can prey on the vulnerable and unsuspecting. And those that are looking for love are no exception.
We’d like to share with you what happened to Jack who got caught up in a romance scam.
Jack contacted LV= to request a lump sum from his pension fund. A few days later he called again to ask to completely surrender his pension policy. When we spoke to him he explained why he needed the money: he had met a new partner online and they had plans for a bright future together. His new partner had told Jack that they needed money to pay for legal fees connected with an inheritance. His partner lived in Ghana and had told him that her parents had passed away and she was the sole carer for her grandmother.
The situation triggered alarm bells. Jack lived alone and said that he’d only known his partner for a few weeks, and they were yet to meet in person. He was excited about the future they had mapped out together.
Jack did have doubts at first, with the speed things were progressing. They talked all the time by phone, email, social media and online chat throughout the day. Jack had been furloughed due to Covid-19, and had few friends to talk to. He was ready to transfer his life savings to secure a future together. This case was referred to our Financial Crime team who reviewed the situation and found that Jack was a target of a romance scam.
We work closely with external agencies such as local
authorities and law enforcement to ensure we do all we can to safeguard our
members and customers, and their money. Thankfully on this occasion we were able
to stop Jack from losing his money. With support from community police, we were
able to put them in touch with Jack so they could talk to him face-to-face.
What is a romance scam?
This is when you think you’ve met the perfect partner through an online dating website or app, but the other person is using a fake profile to form a relationship with you. They’re using the site to gain your
trust and ask you for money or enough personal information to steal your identity.
How to report to ActionFraud