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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.

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.

Her interest was initially piqued when he seemed to have a similar background and heritage to her and they chatted for almost two months, often exchanging messages for at least two hours an evening.

“A lot of the online dating fraudsters we know are abroad.

They're in West Africa, Eastern Europe and it's very difficult for British law enforcement to take action against them in those jurisdictions,” Steve Profitt, Deputy Head of Action Fraud explains.

And it’s not just particularly vulnerable people who fall victim either.

“[It’s] not the case that stupid people fall for romance scams - they can be very clever,” Professor Monica Whitty, a cyber-psychologist, explains. Scamalytics, a company which runs anti-scammer software for a number of the major dating sites, are trying to reduce online dating fraud by creating profiles of the average male and female con artist.

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

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.

So what can you do to avoid being a victim of an online dating scam?

Jane advises meeting up with someone sooner rather than later - more often than not, scammers are based abroad and won’t be able to meet you.