After a couple of months, he said he had to go to the Middle East for an oil rig refurbishment and even sent Jane pictures of him in his hardhat on the rig.

If you’re suspicious, turn to Google: search their name and “dating scam” or do a Google image search to see whether they’ve taken someone else’s picture or one that’s easily available online.

If you find the picture is a fake, report the profile to the dating site immediately.

By analysing the top 3,000 scammer profiles (that is, those they’ve come across most frequently in profiles blocked by their software in the last year) they’ve discovered what constitutes the ‘most attractive’ female and male propositions to those targeted by romance scammers.

The male profile is in his late 40s (48 is the most common age) with a high income.

One of the most common techniques is to build up trust with the person by messaging for weeks or even months before suddenly having an emergency - the fake person being mugged but their daughter needing urgent surgery, for example - and asking for money.

But then they suddenly need money for rent too, then food, then medical fees, and it can quickly escalate.“I just couldn’t believe that was what he was saying,” Jane told .But she was feeling vulnerable after the breakdown of her marriage and agreed to transfer him a smaller amount, despite admitting it sounded “crazy”.The female profile is in her 20s (29 was the most common age), and also has a high income.She presents herself as a student, also with a degree and no interest in politics.It was only when her money transfer was blocked due to a security alert around the man’s name that she realised something was wrong.