Befriending Fraud

What is Befriending Fraud?
Befriending fraud is where a criminal creates a fake account on websites or social media platforms and sends connection requests. They make you believe they want to be your friend and will build a relationship with you.

After developing a friendship, they will then make an attempt to ask for login information, favours or money. This friendship may have been developed over a long period of time before any requests for money are made.

How does it happen?
The fraudster will often use an online platform such as email, web chat or social media to create a fake account. These accounts are often using a fake or stolen identity. The individual will then gain your trust, and play on your emotions to ask for money.

These requests are often for help to pay for transport to visit you, or for medical expenses for them or one of their relatives. They will generally tell you a story that is going to require money from you.

How to spot it

  • The individual will likely be abroad.
  • They are likely to be using a fake name or photos. You can check if the photos are fake by using a reverse image search. Often this can be done by using google or other online search engines. When you search the photo, if it comes up with the same photo a few times with different names, it is likely that it is a fake photo.
  • The person may play with your emotions and make you feel sorry for them. They will have a really sad story to tell you.
  • They may make frequent requests for money.

Stop and Think Fraud ask yourself:

  • Have I met this person face to face?
  • If not, could they be hiding something?
  • Are they asking me to keep our friendship between us.?
  • Have they asked me to not tell anyone why I have sent them money?
  • Have we become friends faster than I expected?
  • If I don’t send them money, have they said we can’t be friends?

If the answer is yes, you could be talking to a fraudster.

Top Tips

  • Speak with a friend, family member or the police if you are worried you may be a victim of fraud.
  • Look the person up online. Do they have accounts on other social media platforms? Does the information on these profile’s match what they have told you?
  • Use TinEye to reverse image search the persons photo, visit You may find that these photos show up names of other people.
  • If you haven’t met them in person, never send them any money.
  • Report suspicious texts, emails and phone calls using the methods provided in this leaflet.

Further Information
Social media has become an integral part of our lives, providing us with a platform to connect with others.  Social media has its benefits but can also impact on people negatively.  Befriending fraud; Fraudsters use various tactics to befriend you;  emotion, common interests, sense of distraction or social interaction. After creating a level of trust and a bond, Fraudsters will use tactics such as urgency, isolation, guilt or make you feel like you have an obligation to respond.

You have a right to choose who you interact with online and should never feel under pressure to stay connected or send money.   

Please find below information on how to block profiles on the main social media platforms. If a platform is not listed here, please find guidance on how to do this direct on their website.

Many people will feel ashamed and blame themselves which will frequently be a barrier to seeking further help and support If you have been targeted with a befriending scam, contact your bank straight away and report it to Humberside Police by calling 101.

Useful Resources and Links:

Have I Been Pwned:- This website allows you to search across multiple data breaches to see if your email address or phone number has been compromised.


CRM:- The Code sets out consumer protection standards to Authorised Push Payment scams and also gives useful contact telephone numbers for Citizens advice, Money Helper, Which and Victim Support.


ID Fraud:-

You can see if Identity fraud has been committed by checking all four UK credit reference agencies;

All four reports can be checked at once for a fee at Check my File.

You should also notify any relevant organisations such as the DVLA, HM Passport Office etc, you can find their details by visiting

Reverse Image Search:- If you would like to search for an image online to check how many times it has been used, you can undertake a reverse image search website such as TinEye.


To find out how to use TinEye, you can visit their online step by step guide here: