The International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) has offered a warning about the rise in fraudsters creating online dating profiles to promote fake investment opportunities.
According to Arkose Labs research, four million online dating fraud and abuse-related attacks were recorded in 2020, with many taking place through fake account registrations.
Once a level of trust has been established, the scam artist will then turn the conversation over to finance and potential investments, encouraging their victim to join them in a financial venture.
To appear genuine, the scammer will give fake investment tips and lure them to download a fraudulent trading app, sign up for financial products, and “work their way up a so-called investment chain”.
In order to encourage the victim to part with their cash, the fraudster will provide incentives, such as promising their victim can reach a premium status under their guidance.
According to ZDNet, a spokesperson for Interpol explained: “As is often the case with such fraud schemes, everything is made to look legitimate.
“Screenshots are provided, domain names are eerily similar to real websites, and customer service agents pretend to help victims choose the right products.”
The rise in virtual dating has also led to scammers engaging in and recording sexually-explicit video calls in order to extort a blackmail payment.
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