POLICE have issued advice to help those looking for love online to safeguard themselves from becoming a victim of romance fraud this Valentine’s Day.

Romance fraud is where someone creates a fake online profile and after gaining the trust of an individual, uses their relationship to request sums of money.

North Yorkshire Police financial abuse safeguarding officer, Andy Fox, said: “We see at least one incident of romance fraud each week here in North Yorkshire.

“The individuals who undertake romance fraud are highly skilled in both earning trust and cultivating what feels like a loving relationship so the impact on victims can be huge – financially and emotionally.

“We’re urging anyone using online dating to be vigilant.”

Police are requesting that if you have met someone online, make sure you ask yourself these questions before you take things further: Have you ever seen them? Have you ever spoken to them? Have they ever asked you for money? Is there anything about your interactions with the individual which just doesn’t feel right?

If you feel you have been a victim of romance fraud, cease all contact with the individual immediately and report them to the police.