Sussex residents lost millions to dating scams last year, new data reveals

Sussex residents lost £3.1 million to dating scams last year
Sussex residents lost £3.1 million to dating scams last year

Sussex residents lost over £3 million to dating scams in 2022.

The county ranked fifth in the list of areas hardest hit by such scams with 251 people in the county falling victim.

This means that, on average, people in Sussex lost £12,350 each.

In 2022, a total of 7,900 dating scams were reported to Action Fraud, with victims losing a reported £88 million to scammers.

Researchers at Hicomply, an online security company, delved into the numbers to discover the areas hardest hit by so-called romance fraud.

Sussex ranked fifth, behind Greater London, Avon and Somerset, West Yorkshire and Thames Valley which rounded out the top five areas where residents lost the most money to dating scams.

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Researchers also looked at police reports where dating apps were referenced.

The number of reports that mentioned dating giant Tinder dropped.

Meanwhile, newer apps Hinge and Bumble both saw an increase in mentions, at 58 per and 60 per cent respectively.

Dr Meera Sarma, chief executive at cybersecurity solutions provider Cystel, said: “While on the surface the overall percentage of dating scams appear to be on a downward trend, the depth of crimes – use of dating platforms to spread disinformation, use of AI to create deepfakes and a trail of deep webs on social media to create a false sense of trust – is on the rise."

Dr Sarma recommended avoiding three main things:

  1. Clicking on any innocuous link, even if it is seeking support for a cause close to your heart, receiving a gift, tax relief or any form of support

  2. Relying on social media for confirmation of authenticity. Look for multiple sources for confirmation of identity, such as professional networks

  3. Offers of tools/apps or websites that offer quick financial gains.

If you think you have been a victim of a romance scam, you should contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via