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In July, the average payout was as high as £10,882.
With one in four British adults using a dating website at some point in their life, according to Which?
Through subtle manipulation, the fraudster encouraged Ms Parke to pay up.
Though hesitant, she eventually made the transfers and went on to send a further £44,500 to Mr Cole for various travel costs, accommodation, and to help him with his business.
There were 651 dating scams reported in the three months to August this year, with the average victim paying out £9,589.Ms Parke realised her mistake when Mr Cole failed to arrive at Birmingham airport where they had agreed to meet so that he could go to the bank with her and return her money."With great hindsight, I am fully aware of how utterly stupid I have been," said Ms Parke, "and I appreciate that there is little, if any, chance of getting my money back.One includes the scammer telling the victim that they don't have enough annual leave left to come and visit them but that they can buy some from their employer.This costs around £250 a day, so 10 days will cost £2,500.They will then ask the victim to pay, and if they do, the fraudster might also ask them to pay for the flight. "Fraudsters claim they have found a box containing gold, silver, money and jewels (or any one of them) in the desert and have sent it out of the country to set up a future together with the victim," said Action Fraud UK."However, this box is now stuck in (x) country’s customs.• Never reply to communications from someone who you meet on a dating site/chat room or social networking website that then wants continue the communication by email.• If you think a profile is fake, check the website for details on reporting it.In order to release it they claim they have to pay a customs release fee – which is then requested from the victim." Online dating scams are nothing new, but they are on the rise.From April 2013 to March 2014, there were 2,037 cases of dating scams reported to Action Fraud, with the 651 scams over the summer marking an acceleration.