Weeks later, the original transfer will bounce, leaving the victim thousands of pounds in debt.
Often the victims are so embarrassed and ashamed that they don’t involve police.
Similar scams arose in Russia, the Ukraine, Canada and other countries.
‘Frauds are like viruses, they mutate and move on,’ said Mr Woodcock.
He said: ‘We are seeing a great deal more romantic scamming.
‘Some lose their dignity along with their life savings, their homes and even their sense of self.Our Word of the Year choice serves as a symbol of each year’s most meaningful events and lookup trends.It is an opportunity for us to reflect on the language and ideas that represented each year.'It’s a huge operation, and we are making progress but people are still falling for it in worrying numbers. ‘In reality it’s now a bit of both,’ Mr Woodcock said.‘Many criminals working similar scams will help each other.