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A new report by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has found that last year, singles were conned out of £39 million by fraudsters they’d met on dating sites and apps.

Con artists are increasingly creating fake online profiles and tricking people on dating sites into handing over often large sums of money.

“I just couldn’t believe that was what he was saying,” Jane told .

But she was feeling vulnerable after the breakdown of her marriage and agreed to transfer him a smaller amount, despite admitting it sounded “crazy”.

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.

Jane*, a middle-aged woman from Warwickshire, had a lucky escape a few years ago when she very nearly handed over a sizeable sum of money to an online scammer who did in fact claim to be an engineer.

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.Around 7.8 million UK adults used online dating sites in 2016, up from just 100,000 in 2000.But just as dating app users are at an all-time high, so is the number of people becoming victims of online dating fraud.You’ve always had a knack for matchmaking at dinner parties, so why not offer your talent to a wider market by launching an online dating site?When done right, these sites can be lucrative and require minimal effort to maintain.

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