The FBI has released a warning on “romance frauds” to all online dating sites.
The cybercriminals are tricking users of the dating sites into laundering and sending money. They are asking users to purchase items and providing personal and financial information.
More than 15,000 people complained to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) that they were a victim of an online dating romance fraud.
It already has $211 million in losses in 2017. This rose to 18,000 people and $362 million in 2018.
Some cyber criminals pretend to be a US citizen living abroad and they are spending months building relationships through online dating sites.
After that, they are asking the victim to send gifts and gadgets, followed by the money for a plane ticket to visit.
“In some cases, the suspect claims the wired funds did not arrive and asks the victim to resend the money,” they added.
“When they don’t arrive as scheduled, they claim they were arrested, and ask for more money to post bail.”
Some circumstances also see victims persuaded to set up a new bank account that is later used to facilitate criminal activities.
“Most dating site administrators do not conduct criminal background investigation when an account is registered,” the FBI warned.
It is recommended to the dating site users to do a reverse image search on anyone they connect with online.
Let’s always be careful whenever we use these online dating sites. Don’t forget to share this as well with your friends who find a date using the Internet.