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In that time, many thousands of pounds may have changed hands.

Some individuals are being tricked into parting with vast sums of money by fraudsters posing as military personnel based overseas who claim they require funds for flights home or to supplement their income before they are paid.

Through subtle manipulation, the fraudster then persuades his lovestruck victim to send money for a variety of emotive reasons.Some fraudulent suitors will befriend and flirt with their victim in conversation on an online dating chatroom, and then suggest the conversation should move to a social media site.At this point, the fraudster will invite the victim to an internet video chat and encourage them to perform a sexual act.The victim is then contacted and informed that the act has been recorded and will be posted on a social media site unless money is transferred.“Consumers must be aware that anything they do on the internet can be recorded and used for malevolent purposes,” warns Peter Barnes, director of global investigations at Western Union.

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