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The victims are then urged—essentially, "blackmailed"—to pay to take down the damaging information.However, this does not ensure that the posted files and information will be deleted after the payment has been done. ” In a time of dating websites, video calls, and free dating apps, the link between romance and cybercrime has now become apparent as ever.Cliché or not, it's true that love is indeed a powerful force.Instances such as this show how trusting someone you have never met can turn into a privacy nightmare—simply by marring one’s integrity and tarnishing reputations to easily bring a victim to cave in to a scammer's demands.Aside from losing money to a fraudulent online “friend”, one may also unwittingly aid in an actual money laundering scheme through fake checks and illegal overseas money transfer, or shipping of stolen goods.
Last year, we outlined a list that corralled a number of the most common love scams that successfully toyed not just with online users’ hearts but also their money—likening it to Neil Gaiman’s notion of love and how it makes anyone vulnerable.The immense popularity of the dating app, Tinder, has brought not just the rise of fake profiles and stolen identities but a channel for bots that push links for a mobile game to their contacts.For a 21-year-old junior at the University of North Carolina, a story about a Tinder profile that had her face under a different name sounded more funny than alarming.Catfishing refers to the scheme used by scam artists when they build a meticulously woven story to trap an unsuspecting victim.They normally use a fake profile containing images normally stolen from existing accounts on social networking sites and a believable story of who they are and what they do.
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[Read: 8 Valentine's Day threats] Such is the case with people who have unknowingly allowed themselves to play accomplice to a cybercriminal act—with them usually coming out as the victims.