We found this good article about romance scam.

The sad thing is that there are many people out there who are still not aware of the scams.

The OFT says in one recent case a British national was kidnapped after travelling to west Africa expecting to be met by someone with whom they had established an online friendship. The individual had no idea that the online ‘friend’ was the fictional creation of a criminal group. The victim was assaulted, imprisoned for four days, and was released only when a ransom was paid.

“All fraud is destructive but dating scammers are particularly ruthless as they abuse the emotional trust and attachments that people invest when looking to meet someone,” says Heather Clayton, senior director of the OFT’s consumer group. The OFT says dating site users should take the following steps to avoid becoming victims:

• Know what you are paying for and what the dating agency promises to provide in return.

• If you receive any requests for money, be suspicious, even if you have known the person for a number of weeks.

• Be sceptical and ask yourself simple questions, for example, “Why am I the only person who can help them, when I have just met them?”

• If you meet somebody unknown to you, always meet in a public place and take a friend with you for support if you are unsure.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) adds that if you do decide to travel to meet an online friend, particularly if you go abroad, tell someone trustworthy where you are going, plan regular contacts and agree what they should do if you miss a contact.