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The FTC recommends that people do not send money to those they've never met in person and to talk with friends and family members about potential concerns and do a reverse-image search of online acquaintances.© 2019 CNBC LLC. A Division of NBCUniversal Data is a real-time snapshot *Data is delayed at least 15 minutes.Global Business and Financial News, Stock Quotes, and Market Data and Analysis.Ms Malet-Warden said the victims were "happy to give because they are in love".Ms Malet-Warden said scammers used the complex language of love to connect with their victims in the early stages of a process that regularly hooked smart, educated people."The language is really important.In the UK, the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre said that 3,557 romance fraud cases were reported in 2017, the victims mostly being women, with losses totaling £41 million ( million), or £11,500 (,200) per victim.
It was the biggest sum of money lost by an individual in Hong Kong ever to a romance scammer.
In the US, the FBI also warned last year of growing incidences of online-romance scams, but the average amount of money lost is far lower than in Hong Kong.