In extreme cases, during the relationship, victims have been enticed into performing sex acts on video and are later blackmailed into paying up to prevent the video being posted online.
Sadly, any one scammer can be performing this with many people simultaneously and any victim could be talking with as many as 20 different people at a time.
Beware of emails and targeted social media ads offering you great deals on Valentine’s Day gifts.
This is a popular scam around all holidays, as we explained with The 12 Scams of Christmas, and still remains very effective.
Meet Spora, an extremely sophisticated ransomware that is delivered via fake emails from a popular accounting suite.
Once ransomware has made it onto your machine, your files will be locked until you agree to pay a ransom.
If you are unsure, search for your gift on the legitimate website directly by visiting their home page.
Avoid continued relationships with users who start asking for money early on.Additionally, spam and identity mining that attempts to acquire identities is increasingly common.As there are so many active users, dating sites are the playground of data-mining scammers looking for opportunities to conduct other scams.Scammers utilise popups on social media with fake offers for phony high value gift cards at ridiculously low prices.If the deal seems too good to be true, it generally is.Valentine’s Day can be an especially tough for lonely hearts looking for love.Online criminals take full advantage of this, developing fake relationships to scam their victims into sending more and more money.How the sweetheart scam works From a distance, the fraudster cultivates a fake relationship with another user of the chosen dating site.The relationship feels real to the innocent victim on the other end and can progress for months to develop trust between the scammer and the victim.Working in groups, one person is in charge of getting personal information and then that information is handed off to be monetized.Dating websites are even being used to scam site visitors by sending unsolicited ads and other links via online messaging platforms.