Cybercriminals Targeting Dating App Users
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of dating apps has risen. The fact that people feel isolated and lonely could be a huge factor, and cybercriminals are taking advantage of this. The fraud scheme to watch out for convinces users to participate in a seemingly promising investment opportunity.
The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) issued the warning, noting online dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble, Match and more being highly impacted. The scammers will begin by first connecting with their victims through the dating app, and establishing a trusting relationship. Once that is in place, the scammers offer investment tips and encourage them to join a scheme by downloading a trading app and opening an account.
These apps are made to look like they are real apps and accounts, with screen shots, domain names that look similar to real websites, and customer service agents. The cybercriminals even string their victims along for some time so they can continue to convince them, trying to persuade them to keep going so they can reach gold or VIP status. However, after scamming them out of a certain amount of cash, all contact stops and they are suddenly locked out of their accounts. An Interpol spokesperson revealed that tens of thousands of dollars have been deposited, with unfortunately a few cases exceeding $100,000.
One of the reasons dating apps are being targeted is because each profile already has a name and picture, making it a little bit easier to initiate conversation and gain the trust of the victim. It is sad that during these times, cybercriminals would prey on people who are looking for companionship or some sort of connection. However, it’s important to be aware that it is happening and to remember to always be cautious when connecting with others online.
Categorised in: IT Threat