As online dating scams continue to grow at an alarming rate around the world, many unsuspecting users find themselves unknowingly participating in credit card fraud and other money scams. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) started to regularly send out online dating scam reminders and alerts to users in the USA after noticing huge spikes in the number of complaints posted in sites like BigScammers.Com against these fraudulent schemes. ActionFraud, which is the UK’s national online crime reporting center, also did the same thing after noticing a lot of complaints from users of popular dating sites and apps in the UK.
In the USA alone, there are now 30% more monthly online scam incidents this year compared to last year’s numbers. Many of these monthly Web crimes involve credit card fraud and online dating scams. A lot of cyber security experts claim that this will continue to grow because of their prediction that, by 2018, more than half of the world’s total mobile user population would be victimized by these scams at one time or another. After all, criminal syndicates will continue to exploit the rapidly growing popularity of mobile devices, the mobile Web and social media to carry out their scams.
That’s also why many finance analysts and ecommerce security firms predict an astounding 125% growth in credit card fraud within the next couple of years. In 2014, $8 billion in losses due to card not present scams and identity theft were reported all over the USA. With 125% growth, we’re looking at $19 billion of losses by 2018.
These criminal syndicates regularly devise new tactics and schemes to commit credit card fraud. That’s why many of them now use online dating scams to lure unsuspecting users into participating in their credit card scams, product fencing and money laundering operations. Here’s how they do this:
How Criminals Commit Credit Card Fraud Through Online Dating Scams
Fraudsters hang out in the most popular dating sites and apps to find unsuspecting users. They pose as legitimate users just looking for their ideal dates in these Web platforms. Many of them target married middle-aged men and women in the USA, Australia, Canada and the UK among other countries in North America, South America, the EU, the Middle East and Asia. Once they lure these unsuspecting users into their cyber traps, they trick them into unknowingly participating in credit card fraud and other money laundering schemes.
Some of these scammers convince these users to go on a fake business venture with them. They tell their victims that all they need to do is to simply register a business in their country and apply for an online merchant account under the newly registered business. To entice more users, these fraudsters tell them that they’ll get an irresistible revenue share just for handling the back office administrative duties and responsibilities in their newly registered businesses. Of course, these merchant accounts are just used to commit credit card fraud. These are used to cash out stolen credit cards. Their victims end up with severely damaged credit scores, which can take several years to fix.
Other fraudsters trick users into agreeing to receive and send back products on their behalf. These are in fact purchased by these criminal syndicates using stolen credit cards. When the authorities investigate this credit card fraud, their victims are left holding the bag to answer to these government agents. Some have been wrongfully accused of these criminal activities, which badly tainted their reputation and caused a few of them to lose their jobs.
That’s how these criminal syndicates lure unsuspecting users at the most popular dating sites and apps to unknowingly participate in credit card fraud, product fencing and money laundering operations. Watch out for these scams while hanging out in your favorite online dating platforms. Also share this with your loved ones and friends, especially those who enjoy spending time in these dating sites and apps. You might also want to tell them to sign up at BigScammers.Com to receive instant alerts about all kinds of scams on the Web today. They’ll be able to learn a great deal about the exact tactics and schemes that are used by these criminal syndicates to carry out their illegal activities. They can in turn quickly spot and safely avoid these scams.