FBI Warns of Verification Scams Targeting Dating Site Users

Current Event ScamThe US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued an advisory warning of a scam campaign targeting users of online dating platforms. The scammers are attempting to trick users into signing up for fraudulent monthly subscriptions in order to be verified as a real person.

“Fraudsters meet victims on a dating website or app,” the FBI explains.

“Fraudsters express an interest in establishing a relationship and quickly move the conversation off the dating app or website to an encrypted platform. Under the guise of safety, the fraudster provides a link that directs the victim to a website advertising a ‘free’ verification process to protect against establishing a relationship with predators, such as sex offenders or serial killers. The website displays fake articles alluding to the legitimacy of the website.” 

The Bureau continues, “The verification website prompts the victim to provide information such as their name, phone number, email address, and credit card number to complete the process. Once the victim submits the information, they are unwittingly redirected to a private, low-quality dating site charging costly monthly subscription fees. Eventually, the victim's monthly credit card statement displays a charge to an unknown business.”

The FBI offers the following advice to help users avoid falling for these scams:

  • “Avoid clicking on links, downloading files, or opening attachments from someone you only met online. Only open attachments from known senders and scan all attachments for viruses, if possible
  • “Avoid moving the conversation from a reputable dating site's messaging service, since many of these offer some safety features
  • “Report suspicious user profiles to the dating site administrator and cease all contact with suspicious users
  • “Be cautious of someone you only met online professing their love quickly, expressing a need for help, and/or enticing you with provocative pictures and text topics. Fraudsters use social behavior to deceive you and separate you from your hard-earned money”

KnowBe4 empowers your workforce to make smarter security decisions every day. Over 65,000 organizations worldwide trust the KnowBe4 platform to strengthen their security culture and reduce human risk.

The FBI has the story.

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