When you think of cybersecurity, love and emotions are likely some of the last words that come to mind. However, scammers regularly depend on emotional connection to achieve their devious goals. According to the FBI, romance scams are at an all-time high and were the third highest internet crime loss in 2021.
Scammers have always taken advantage of people’s trust and social media platforms have only made that easier. One of the most well-known examples of this is The Tinder Swindler. He manipulated many women into believing he was a millionaire, but was actually using them to steal millions of dollars to fund his lavish lifestyle. These online romance scammers are exploiting a fundamental aspect of human nature, trust.
At Fastek, we account for human nature as a part of our approach to cybersecurity and provide training that help people separate facts from feelings. When it comes to online romances, here are our top three red flags to look for:
- Things are intense: Online scammers want to act quickly before you suspect anything. They may profess their love for or even propose marriage after just a few months of talking.
- Promises are broken: Since there is often an element of catfishing in romance scams, scammers may make plans to meet over video or in-person, but come up with last minute excuses to cancel.
- They are far away: Similarly to #2, posing as a member of the military or international business person are common profiles of scammers, since they can easily avoid having to meet in-person.
Feeling of loneliness and isolation, drive up the success of these scams. These feeling peak during the winter and during events like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our goal is to help educate others so they can feel confident and empowered to see through various scams. Contact us at 270-240-2840 to learn more about our training programs or other ways we protect your business.
Published on February 11, 2023