SUNDAY TIMES - Nov 28 - Romance scammers are to be targeted by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca). According to Soca ~200K people have already been tricked by overseas conmen. Online dating scams have become one of the most lucrative methods. This is because online dating has itself become so successful, with 1,400 dating sites operating in Britain, including Plentyoffish, eHarmony and match.com. Mark Brooks, who runs Courtland Brooks, a consultancy specialising in the online dating industry, said: “Every site has significant problems in dealing with scammers. It is the bane of the industry.” Karl Gregory, head of match.com’s UK division, said cases of fraud were still rare. “Our advice”, he said, “is to stay within the site to build up relationships over time rather than giving out personal details, and never to give money to anyone for any reason.”
Mark Brooks: Actually, this is far more a problem in the USA than the UK. Most sites are fighting and winning the battle against scammers, I think. But the isolated cases of date scamming are still very newsworthy and bad for the dating industry.