New Zealanders warned of spike in online dating scams on Valentine's Day

New Zealanders are being warned about the dangers of online romance scams this Valentine's Day.  

A recent cyber safety report found 25 percent of respondents 18 and over fell vicitim to an online dating scam.  

Our banks are also seeing a rise in customers being tricked into giving money to fake dating accounts.  

As more people turn to online dating to find love it's becoming an increasingly worse breeding ground for scammers. 

"They're basically playing with people's emotions, stealing their hearts, and unfortunately their money," BNZ head of financial crime Ashley Kai Fong said.  

 BNZ is among many banks seeing a rise in customers being duped online. 

"We're seeing a significant increase in relationship scams, we've seen a 43 percent increase in the last year," she said.  

That problem was highlighted in Norton's latest cyber security safety report which found 25 percent of respondents aged 18 and over have fallen victim to fake dating accounts. 

"They grow each year in complexity, and often unfortunately the amount of money that people end up losing," NetSafe spokesperson Sean Lyons said.  

What are the red flags? 

"Romantic relationships that put pressure on individuals to transact, to invest, to give money, to buy things, that's one of the warning signs," Lyons said. 

"We need to be really careful."