Not being a total f**king moron, and six other ways to avoid falling for a romance scammer

HAS 26-year-old Natalia slid into your DMs again? Horny for you, is she? Horny in a keeps-needing-money way? These rules will keep your bank account as untouched as your genitalia: 

‘Look in the mirror, dickhead’

Strutting down Market Walk in Chorley, surveying the Greggs that passes for a town centre, when was the last time a gorgeous blonde sought out your company, unsolicited, fascinated with your stories about your bad hip and your son who hardly calls anymore? Never? But you believe it when it happens online?

‘Never believe in destiny’ 

The internet hold billions of lonely souls and even more bots. Yet you believe complaining about dog mess on neighbourhood groups has spontaneously propelled your one true love into your DMs, and that she’s a sexy Slovakian who loves crown green bowling and the name Reg. Destiny, or you follow so many salacious Instagrams you made yourself a target?

‘Have basic intelligence’ 

Why can’t Jax of Gabon ever manage a Zoom? Needs to buy a new webcam? Who has an external webcam? Are you communicating on MSM Messenger in 2004? And the regular phone is no good because he’s too shy, an odd bout of timidity from a man who claims to be an Olympic shot-putter and his country’s best hope of overthrowing the military junta.

‘Google her, for f**k’s sake’ 

It’s flattering that a woman combining a PhD in Microbiology at the People’s Socialist University of Wallonia with professional modelling manages to talk about your favourite Coronation Street characters for eight hours a day. But perhaps Google her fake university, her photos from 90s Gap adverts, or her bloody name before pledging love, yeah?

‘Never send nudes’ 

A nude photo, even if you are middle-aged, obese and profoundly unloveable, is currency. It can be used by the Ghanian gang you’ve dispatched it to not only for morbid entertainment but for blackmail and, given the viral potential of the image, expect them to open high.

‘Never send money’ 

At the moment you’re about to transfer your savings into the account of Drazen Raznatovic – ‘my brother’, Tatiana explains pre-emptively – wonder if this wasn’t the goal all along. Is it not slightly peculiar that she’s being held at immigration but can WhatsApp continually? Do they let you do that? Is she, perhaps, after your money without even giving you sex?

‘Don’t bother calling the police’ 

You gave someone cash because you’re stupid. That’s not a crime, though they might get a laugh out of it.

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Fear that young people's mortgages will outlast their student loans

THE under-30s are entering into mortgage agreements so long they will have paid off their student loans before the end of them, estimates suggest. 

Economists are concerned that 40-year mortgages mean a generation of graduates will be able to clear £60,000 burden of student debt before their houses are two-thirds paid for.

Professor Helen Archer of the LSE said: “The young need to stop trying to evade their responsibilities. Ultra-long mortages are shirking, plain and simple.

“Yes, they’re paying far more in the long-term, which helps the banks. Yes, the interest on a mortgage is far less than the six to eight per cent on student loans. But what about house prices?

“By squatting in the same £670,000 one-bed London flat for four decades, miserably servicing their debt, they condemn the rest of us to a moribund housing market. I’ve invested in property. Should I be happy with a pathetic 35 per cent return?”

28-year-old Lucy Parry said: “We’ll need to live until 70, work until 70, never split up and never have children, but we should clear our loans and have five mortgage-free years before the state take our home to pay for our care fees.

“This really is a miracle of a country. I wouldn’t live anywhere else. I can’t, the old people voted against it.”