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A new report by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has found that last year, singles were conned out of £39 million by fraudsters they’d met on dating sites and apps.Con artists are increasingly creating fake online profiles and tricking people on dating sites into handing over often large sums of money.“A lot of the online dating fraudsters we know are abroad.They're in West Africa, Eastern Europe and it's very difficult for British law enforcement to take action against them in those jurisdictions,” Steve Profitt, Deputy Head of Action Fraud explains.Still, what’s notable here is that spammers were able to mask their operation using legitimate websites, a model that could be used in the future for more damaging cybercriminal threats.The spammed messages are already blocked by the Trend Micro Smart Protection Network.One of the most common techniques is to build up trust with the person by messaging for weeks or even months before suddenly having an emergency - the fake person being mugged but their daughter needing urgent surgery, for example - and asking for money.But then they suddenly need money for rent too, then food, then medical fees, and it can quickly escalate.
This dating app connects people by interests and hobbies rather than generic profile stats – and allows people to find dates in their area based on what they like doing.
Fingers crossed there is still an option for a few beers in a pub. Whatifi Fresh out of the packet – this app describes itself as ‘the event and location-based social reconnection app’.
Which sounds complicated but simply means if you’ve been to an event the night before but left without that hot guy’s number?
The misuse of legitimate services continue as after recent reports of cybercriminals exploitng the redirecting service Tiny URL to slip past spam filters, legitimate e-card services are now being used.
We have received email samples that arrive as ecards with the subject header “Regards From Secret Admirer”.
Nancy*, a 47-year-old single mother from North Yorkshire was conned out of over £350,000 that way: “I wasn't comfortable, and then I got so far in I couldn't get myself out, and I didn't want to walk away having lost £50,000 or what-have-you, so you keep going in the hope that you're wrong and this person is genuine,” she explained to the BBC.