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Romance Scam Compensation

Refunds for Romance Scam

Quick Guide

  • Romance Scams are on the rise. Scammers gain the trust of their victims online through social media and dating apps like Tinder, then persuade them to send money.
  • Banks have a duty to protect their customers from Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud. In some cases, if you have lost out to fraud then TLW can help claim a refund from the bank.
  • Our specialist team works on a no-win no fee basis, you pay us nothing if your compensation claim is unsuccessful.

Romance fraud & scams

Many of us have been unlucky in love at some point in our lives, but no one expects to lose a large amount of money to someone you thought you trusted. Unfortunately, the number of those who are unknowingly being scammed on dating or matchmaking apps is increasing.

If you have lost out to romance scammers, TLS Lawyers may be able to help you claim a refund and help with the reimbursement of losses.

Meet Our Team

Kate Hobbs

Legal Director

Frequently asked questions

The Netflix documentary ‘The Tinder Swindler’ gave a detailed insight (and warning) into how romance scams work – where people meet online, and build a seemingly trusting, romantic relationship, only to result in urgent or repeated requests for money.

Romance fraud is a type of Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud, where the scam victim authorises a bank transfer of money to the other person’s account.

The scammer is a master of manipulation, transferring the money quickly to another account, often overseas, and then disappearing. When victims realise they have been scammed, it is often too late, making it very difficult to get their money back.

A romance scammer can target anyone on a dating app (such as Tinder, Match, Bumble, or Hinge) or through social media (such as Facebook, Instagram or Tik Tok), regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation, but generally, victims tend to be older people, who may be vulnerable or isolated.

The scammer will initially contact someone via a dating app, but then move communication off the app to messaging or email. Spotting a scammer can be difficult. They usually appear to be very interested in the other person, asking lots of questions, but may not be so forthcoming about themselves, yet they will be quick to provide reassurance about their identity, for example providing a copy of their passport or driver’s licence.

Often the victims feel flattered and believe a mutual bond exists between them. If you trust someone, you’d be happy to help them out. Right? Then questions like this start to be asked by the scammer – “My salary is due on Monday, can you lend me some money until the weekend?” But you’ve never met this person face-to-face, your goodwill is being taken advantage of, and they have no intention of ever paying you back.

There are a number of red flags to look out for, so you can protect yourself from fraudulent romance scams:

  • Fraudulent online dating profiles – their profile might have very few images, they may work or live in another country and there may be limited profile information.
  • Being asked to move to another form of messaging, away from the app – means they avoid any safety checks the app has in place.
  • Lots of flattery and early declarations of love – this is a manipulation technique and preys on vulnerable people. This is also known as ‘love bombing’.
  • Avoiding video chat – if their profile images are fake, they will not want to appear on camera, live chat or FaceTime.
  • Apparent legitimate confirmation of their identity at an early stage of the relationship, including providing a copy of their passport, driver’s licence or other official documents.
  • Requests to send money to someone you’ve never met in person, particularly if you’ve only recently met them through an online dating app. These requests may come with a sense of urgency – unplanned travel, medical assistance, paying off debt, or an investment opportunity.
  • Requests to open a bank account, take out a loan or make an investment on the other person’s behalf.
  • Requests to share your personal identification documents such as your passport or driving licence.

If you are the victim of a romance scam, it is important to put any embarrassment aside and contact your bank and Action Fraud, the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre. If you have lost money, then that may lead to a criminal investigation by the police.

Banks should conduct an investigation and try to recover the money from the receiving bank. But, given that most scammers quickly move the money on, it is usually not possible to get a refund.

There have been some important recent decisions made by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) about push payment fraud and the banks’ responsibility to their customers. FOS is an independent body set up to settle disputes between financial institutions and their customers. If you disagree with the bank’s investigations following a romance fraud, you can take your case to FOS and they will carry out their own investigation.

There are an increasing number of decisions focusing on the banks’ duty of care to their customers, particularly with regard to carrying out due diligence checks on large or unusual payments where their customers are vulnerable such as the elderly or bereaved.

Our dedicated APP Fraud team has many years of experience in dealing with FOS and successfully claiming compensation for our clients.

We understand the time limits to be followed, the information needed and the claims and appeals processes. The team will also deal with any complex legal arguments and defences that the bank may raise. The combination of our experienced team and digital case management systems means that we proactively pursue your claim and aim to get the best possible results.

The specialist fraud team at TLS Lawyers are helping many clients recover refunds on a no-win, no-fee basis. If you have a claim, we will deal with your claim from start to finish, whilst keeping you up to date as the case progresses.

The steps in the claims process are:

  1. Submit your claim with us by completing either the online claim form, request a callback, telephone our office, or email us using the contact details provided.
  2. A member of the fraud team will discuss your claim with you and advise whether you may have a claim that we can deal with.  If we can assist you, we will send you our welcome pack which contains useful information on what to expect throughout your claim as well as details of what information we’ll need from you.
  3. You will be assigned a case handler. If following an initial assessment of your case we think you have a claim, we will be in touch to go through the next steps. If we don’t think you have a claim, we will provide our reasons why so that you may consider other options.
  4. Your case handler will ask for and review any additional documentation needed to progress your claim, this will include contacting the banks involved on your behalf. You will be kept up to date by email and phone calls if required.
  5. Depending on the circumstances of your case and due to a wide range of factors outside of our control, making a refund claim can take several months to complete – as your case progresses, we will try to give you as much information as possible about the likely timescales. We will continue to update you on your claim, and you will be able to contact your dedicated case handler if there are any issues or concerns.
  6. We work on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, which means that if your claim is unsuccessful, there will be no charge for the work we do.

We offer a free, no-obligation assessment of your case and will make a decision on whether or not to pursue your claim. If we take on your case, we operate on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, meaning you do not pay us anything if your refund claim is unsuccessful.

If you think that you, a friend or a relative has been the victim of a romance scam, please get in touch with our specialist team for a confidential, no-obligation conversation.

TSL Lawyers pledge to:

  • Always fight your corner.
  • Explain anything you don't understand.
  • Provide full transparency on our charges.
  • Never ask for any upfront payment.
  • Recover the best compensation we can.
  • Keep your personal information safe.
  • Respond quickly to any queries.
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