They want to know everything about you – your favourite food, your bucket list, your secret fears... Browns and greens are my favourite colours.’ They find real-life reference points: songs you can listen to, colours you can see and films you can watch.
They then come up with very similar responses, only slightly different. to test their control and have something to use against you.
According to police, such fraud increased by 16 per cent in 2014-15, with recorded losses of more than £33 million.
Judith Lathlean, a 67-year-old, Oxford-educated professor, made headlines in December last year when she courageously revealed how she had paid £140,000 to a man she met on a dating site (but never met face to face).
Perhaps he is on the edge of retirement or about to leave the military and build a new civilian life; perhaps he was widowed years ago and only now feels able to start again.They could be adopted or they may be nursing parents through illness.