Romance Scams

Romance scams can be very cruel. They play on people’s emotions and vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, they’re also very common, with Action Fraud reporting that £68 million was lost to romance scams in 2020 alone.

What’s a romance scam? 

A romance scammer will build up trust by developing a convincing relationship with you, usually online. You may meet them on a dating site or on social media where they’ll be lurking behind an apparently genuine profile. Once the scammer has gained your trust, they’ll start asking you to send money, vouchers or gifts. Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and will even find ways to get your personal details or passwords to access your bank account. They’ll invent reasons for needing money such as health issues, business issues or any other troubles they desperately need money to fix.

How can I protect myself from romance scams?

  • Romance scammers usually have a story that justifies why they’re asking for money. Question whether this story makes sense, and never send money to someone you haven’t met face to face

  • Reverse image search the photo of the person you’re speaking to. Scammers will often steal these from legitimate profiles on the internet

  • Don’t reveal too much information about yourself online, especially on social media

  • Talk to people you trust for advice about the relationship to get their view

I think I've lost money to a romance scam. Can I get my money back?


If you think you’ve been, or could be, the victim of a romance scam, it’s important to take a step back. Try to distance yourself emotionally from  the situation. This is easier said than done, of course, which is why this type of scam is so successful.

If you need advice, the best thing you can do is speak to a friend or relative about the relationship to get a second opinion. Express your concern that it could be a scam, and your friend or family member should be able to help advise on whether they think the relationship is legitimate. If you’re too embarrassed to speak to someone you know, get advice from a trusted organisation; for example, you can visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau or speak to your bank.

If it’s too late and you’ve already sent the money, inform your bank as soon as possible. They might still be able to help you get your money back. If they can’t, you can raise a complaint with them. Or you can speak to us at refundfix on our website or by filling in our claim form, as we may be able to help get your money back.

refundfix is a claims management company that helps people get their money back in situations like these. refundfix charge 15% on anything you get back, and you’ll only pay a fee if you’re successful and get back some or all of the money you’ve lost. Just remember, you don’t need to use a service like refundfix — you can do it yourself for free by going to the Financial Ombudsman Service. Full instructions on what to do are available on our website.