America’s intelligence service Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) has issued a warning to dating site users. They are alerting individuals on dating sites about confidence and romance frauds. People are apparently getting tricked into purchasing items, providing personal financial data, laundering and sending money.
The FBI says some dating site users are posing as US business owners, US military or US citizens in a foreign country. Reports say over more than 15,000 people have complained that they were victims of online dating romance fraud.
The amount of loss recorded in 2017 came to a total of $211 million (approximately ₦76.5 billion). However, by 2018, the amount rose to $362 million (approximately ₦131.2 billion) with the victim number also rising to 18,000.
Cybercriminals pretend to be American citizens living abroad. They use these dating sites to build relationships. After a few months, they begin asking the victims to send gifts, electronics and gadgets. Eventually, they ask for a plane ticket to visit them. These people oblige based on trust and end up getting scammed.
Social Media Swindlers
The FBI explained, “In some cases, the actor claims the wired funds did not arrive and asks the victim to resend the money. When they don’t arrive as scheduled, they claim they were arrested, and ask for more money to post bail.”
Swindlers also manipulate some victims to set up a bank account that they then use to carry out criminal activities. The FBI is issuing a warning advising dating site users to do a reverse image search on anyone they meet on the app. “Most dating site administrators do not conduct criminal background checks when an account is registered,” they explained.
These scams do not only happen in the United States. They also do not only happen on dating sites. Therefore, Plat4om also warns readers to be careful when dealing with anyone online. Make sure you do enough background checks before divulging personal information. Especially when their requests start to get suspicious.
Be careful out there. All the best.