Interpol has warned of a new investment scam targeting users of mobile dating apps.
Likecontinues to severely restrict our daily life and in many places make it impossible to socialize and meet new people in person, dating apps have seen an increase in the number of users.
As the only possible method of anything akin to dating right now, the crooks have decided to capitalize on this trend in order to push an investment-based scam that robs victims of their money. According to Arkose Labs research, four million attacks related to online dating fraud and abuse were recorded in 2020, many of which took place through fake account registrations.
On Tuesday, the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) said the agency had issued a “purple notification” – providing data on methods, objects, devices and methods of covering up criminal groups – to 194 member countries.
The notice describes a new operating mode on dating apps, which Interpol says “takes advantage of people’s vulnerabilities when looking for potential matches and lures them into a sophisticated fraud scheme.”
This is how the scam works, documented around the world: users sign up for a dating app like Tinder, eHarmony or Bumble, and unknowingly end up matching a scammer.
Once a level of trust has been established, the scammer will then turn the conversation to funding and potential investments, encouraging his “match” to join him in a financial venture.
To appear genuine, the scammer will give his victim some investment “advice” and trick them into downloading a bogus trading app, signing up for financial products and “making their way into a so-called channel. investment “- all under the supervision of their connection to the dating app.
In order to encourage the victim to part with their money, the fraudster will offer incentives, such as the promise that their victim can achieve premium “Gold” or “VIP” status under their tutelage.
However, nothing is as it seems.
“As is often the case with such fraud schemes, everything is done to appear legitimate,” says Interpol. “Screenshots are provided, the domain names look suspiciously like real websites, and the customer service agents claim to help victims choose the right products.”
Once the match has been paid for, the victims are banned from their “investment” accounts and the con artist disappears, severing all contact.
“They are confused, hurt and worried that they will never see their money again,” Interpol added.
When feelings become involved, there may be a greater chance that someone will be persuaded to part with their money. This concerns phishing emails – many examples of which will claim to be from a tax office, loan company, or bank – with panic and fear used as triggers.
Dating app scammers get at the heart, and we’ve heard time and time again that lone users get their savings cheated by people who appear to be genuine love interests.
With many of us using dating apps as an alternative to face-to-face meetings during the pandemic, it’s even more important that we remain cautious.
You should never give money to someone you don’t know and haven’t met in person – no matter what the apparent opportunity or alleged “emergency” situation someone finds themselves in. one – and when it comes to investment opportunities, research first.
After all, if a financial investment sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Earlier this week, British police have uncovered another form of scam that attacks lonely hearts: the exploitation of online video chats and remote dating. In a case documented by Thames Valley Police, a video session between a man and a woman who became intimate was recorded by the latter, who claimed to have a love interest in her victim in order to extort a blackmail payment into exchange images not to be shared with friends and family.
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