Cybercriminals Are Tricking Online Dating Site Users To Launder Money

Dhir Acharya - Aug 06, 2019


Cybercriminals Are Tricking Online Dating Site Users To Launder Money

Cybercriminals are luring people into sending and laundering money, sending financial and personal info, as well as buying items

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is warning people against “confidence/romance frauds” on online dating websites. Cybercriminals are luring people into sending and laundering money, sending financial and personal info, as well as buying items, according to a Monday statement from FBI. The criminals often pretend to be a US citizen in another country, a US business owner, or a US soldier deployed overseas.

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Online dating site users are tricked to send money to cybercriminals

The Internet Crime Complaint Center at the FBI received reports from over 15,000 people, saying that they became the victims in an online romance fraud/dating confidence, with a total loss of $211 million as of 2017. The number has since risen to 18,000 with $362 million as of 2018, as revealed by the FBI.

A part of these cybercriminals pretend to be a United States citizen but live in a foreign country, they build relationships with their victims for months through online dating websites. Then they ask the victims to send electronics and gifts, followed by money for a flight ticket to visit.

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Criminals build relationships with the victims then ask them to send money

The bureau added that in some cases, the criminals even claim that the wired funds didn’t arrive and ask the victims to send the money again. According to the FBI, when:

Capture

In some situations, the victim was even persuaded to create a new bank account, which is later used by the actor for criminal activities.

The bureau warned that most administrators of dating sites don't perform criminal background checks with each new account. It was recommended that people using online dating websites reverse image search on everyone that they connect with on the Internet.

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