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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.

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There was only one thing that seemed a little odd to Jane: his syntax occasionally seemed a little unnatural for a native English-speaker, and when they spoke on the phone, something about his voice didn’t seem to match his pictures.

Jane Googled him and found what looked like an authentic Linked In page and social media profiles as well as information on the projects he claimed to be working on, which seemed legitimate.

It was only when her money transfer was blocked due to a security alert around the man’s name that she realised something was wrong.

Not long after, Jane discovered an ex-colleague nearby had been scammed by the same man at the same time and she’d had a very lucky escape.

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