Will you be loved up or stitched up?

You may be looking for love..in all the wrong places.

Halton Trading Standards is warning of romance scams highlighted by our partners at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI).

With pandemic restrictions lowered or removed entirely, many expect this St Valentine’s Day to see a surge of star-crossed lovers seeking to make a connection compared to last February, when the country was under lockdown.

These scams regularly involve some form of ‘catfishing’ – the act of luring someone into a relationship by constructing a fictional online persona. Protect yourself from becoming a ‘catfished’:

• Be suspicious when contacted out of the blue, whether through social media, messengers or a dating app or website.
• Always verify, and don’t keep it a secret – try to talk to someone else about a potential romantic match and get an independent view.
• Never allow the contact to isolate you or stop communication with family and friends.
Sadly, Halton Trading Standards is aware of and working with romance scam victims within the Borough.

If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.

If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline or 0808 223 1133

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