Chelmsford Police will be in the High Street Metro Bank store from 10am – 1pm on Friday August 25th to offer advice about romance scams, Romance scammers earned £16m in the first half of 2022 from love lost Brits.
Romance scams are on the rise. Metro Bank is warning those looking for love to guard against being scammed as they saw a 43% increase in romance scams from 2021 to 2022. “We wouldn’t want anyone to fall victim to a romance scam, so if you are worried about yourself of a loved one, please pop into the store to chat your concerns through with the police – everyone is welcome,” advises Metro Bank store manager, Sue O’Brien.
“You cannot underestimate how callous and unfeeling these type of scammers are – no matter how charming they initially appear,” warns Metro Bank’s Head of Fraud & Investigations, Baz Thompson. “Just like a real relationship, they are prepared to invest time and patience in getting to know you to make you feel that you are in a real relationship, but it is always with a payday in their sights. The requests for money or support may start small – but they will quickly escalate. The most common lies can be highly emotive with requests for money for medical treatment or emergency travel. Our customers who have been scammed would tell you to never give money to someone you have not met.”
Be wary if….
- You are being pressured to move away from dating websites to text, phone or instant message.
- They declare love or strong feelings after only a few conversations.
- They ask you lots of personal questions, but don’t share themselves.
- They duck video calls or requests to meet in person.
- They ask for any financial support – be that an Amazon gift card, or direct money requests via wire services, PayPal or other money transfer apps.
- You are being pressured and/or emotionally blackmailed to act quickly.
Metro Bank’s Chelmsford store can be found at 38 High Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1BE.
The store is currently open Monday – Saturday 8:30am - 6pm. Sunday: 11am - 5pm.
 Source UK Finance 2022 data