Dreaming of an online romance? As more and more people turn to the internet for love and companionship, scammers are out to swindle vulnerable victims — they’ll break your heart and the bank. Indeed, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has just reported that in 2021 the total loss attributed to romance scams hit a record high of $547 million (80% more than 2020).
If that’s not bad enough, since November 2021 we’ve detected over 15 million scam dating URLs. Read on to learn how to avoid being scammed.
How the Scam Unfolds
Scammers will send you text messages, inviting you to chat with them via the link.
- I Wanna crazzy nights with you. we can make it. You can get my cell number and location from here: [URL].
- Do you want a date night with Elora? She does. She’s desperate and eager to be pleasured! View her message and reply now: [URL].
If you can’t resist the temptation and click on the attached link, it will take you to FAKE online dating sites.
These pages will ask you to register an account to proceed chatting or fill out online survey pages that collect your personal information.
You will be asked to provide more and more personal details, such as email addresses, date of birth, passwords, etc.
Ultimately, the pages (read: phishing pages) will inevitably end up requesting your financial details like credit card information. Scammers can record the credentials you submit and easily exploit them — to commit cybercrime such as identity theft. Don’t fall for it!
Two example scam dating sites:
And some URLs to watch out for:
For more details about romance scams, please visit this article.
How to Avoid Fake Dating Websites
- Think long & hard before you submit your personal information online. Avoid sharing phone numbers, addresses, passwords, and other identifying information.
- Don’t click on links from unknow resources. Browse the web safely with Trend Micro Check (it’s FREE!).
Trend Micro Check is an all-in-one browser extension for detecting scams, phishing attacks, malware, and dangerous links – and it’s FREE!
After you’ve pinned Trend Micro Check, it will block dangerous sites automatically! It’s available on Safari, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge.
Check out this page for more information on Trend Micro Check.
- Add an extra layer of protection to your device with Trend Micro Maximum Security! It includes Web Threat Protection, Ransomware Protection, Anti-phishing, and Anti-spam Protection to help you combat scams and cyberattacks. Click the buttonS below to give it a try.
As ever, we hope this article has been of use and/or interest to you. If so, please do SHARE it with family and friends to help keep the online community secure and protected. Happy Valentine’s Day!