"My embarrassment is overwhelming but I feel that I must take this step in reporting my experience in order to help promote awareness and to help other innocents to avoid such devastating situations," she added.Five scams on the rise in 2014 Protect yourself against dating fraud • Trust your instincts.

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They will then ask the victim to pay, and if they do, the fraudster might also ask them to pay for the flight. "Fraudsters claim they have found a box containing gold, silver, money and jewels (or any one of them) in the desert and have sent it out of the country to set up a future together with the victim," said Action Fraud UK.

"However, this box is now stuck in (x) country’s customs.

In July, the average payout was as high as £10,882.

With one in four British adults using a dating website at some point in their life, according to Which?

One includes the scammer telling the victim that they don't have enough annual leave left to come and visit them but that they can buy some from their employer.

This costs around £250 a day, so 10 days will cost £2,500.

Mr Cole told Ms Parke that he was a widower and that he had moved to Britain with his young daughter, Maureen.

He said that while abroad on business, his daughter had been injured in a hit and run accident and he required £9,600 for the operation in hospital.

In order to release it they claim they have to pay a customs release fee – which is then requested from the victim." Online dating scams are nothing new, but they are on the rise.

From April 2013 to March 2014, there were 2,037 cases of dating scams reported to Action Fraud, with the 651 scams over the summer marking an acceleration.

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