Online Romance Scams: How to Find Danger Signals

Bandar Seri Begawan – The Internet has changed the way we do many things, from staying in touch with family and friends, working, to finding love.

We spend an average of 7 hours online every day, and it’s no exaggeration to say that we live on the Internet.

Dating and social media sites have become increasingly popular tools for finding love and friendship, but unfortunately they have also become a popular tool for scammers known as romance scammers.

These scammers create fake profiles to seduce victims, establish romantic relationships, and ultimately extort money.

Although available data on the types of fraud (and financial losses incurred) affecting Bruneians are limited, scammers could be blackmailed in the United States. $ 547 million According to the latest report, from last year’s victims report From the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Common romance scams include mining personal information and sending malware using fake dating profiles. Use to intimidate victims, send intimate photos and videos, and intimidate them. And the elaborate Ruth that the scammers get to know you enough to ask for help with money and money.

Beware of danger signals

FTC reported that Instagram and Facebook are the most commonly reported platforms. Contact with scammers begins..

They often live abroad and pretend to be working in respected and recognized roles such as pilots, soldiers and medical professionals.

Cybersecurity Brunei, a national agency that monitors online security threats, said there are some common warning signs that an individual’s online profile may be fake.

1. Their profile looks too good and all the pictures look professionally taken.

2. They live far away and claim to meet in person, but always cancel at the last minute.

3. The relationship progresses very quickly. The intent is to establish trust and relationships as quickly as possible. Some may even propose a marriage.

4. They either avoid video calls with you or claim that their internet connection is the cause of poor video quality.

5. They demand money from you, and they are very specific about payment methods. Don’t send money or gifts to romantic interests you’ve never met in person.

If it looks dubious or seems too good to be true, remember that it is probably.

Beware of fake crypto investments!

Data from FTC shows that both romance scams What a 70% growth Because during the pandemic provided a convenient excuse for the scammers to say they couldn’t meet in person.

Last year we also saw scammers increasingly using romance as a hook to seduce people into fake investments, especially those. Including cryptocurrencies..

After romance on potential targets, scammers often make victims believe they are successful investors and casually offer investment advice for forex trading and fake opportunities often accompanied by cryptocurrencies. To do.

So how can you protect yourself?

Scammers who prey on your emotions and desire for connection can make us ignore the danger signal. However, there are always some things to keep in mind when interacting with others online.

1. Be careful about the personal information you share online. Excessive sharing of personal and emotional posts on social media can be a target for fraud, trolling, identity theft, and online harassment.

2. Please refrain from publishing your current location in real time. Your location sharing can be used for espionage, stalking, or theft.

3. Carefully click. Links can lead to phishing websites that install malware on your device or entice you to send personal or financial information.

4. Cover the webcam when not in use. Malware can allow cybercriminals to unknowingly turn on the device’s camera, capture images and videos, and extort money.

5. Refrain from sending your own compromised photos or videos, even if you trust that person.

6. Always be suspicious when a stranger contacts you to request personal or financial information.

7. Protect your online account with a strong password or passphrase and enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) if available. This allows you to prevent others from accessing your account if your password is compromised. At least for your most important accounts, such as email, banking, and social media, you should always have MFA enabled.

8. Talk to a trusted person to cross-check and verify before trusting a stranger. Be careful if your friends and family say they are worried about your new love interests.

9. Do your own snooping. Google search for that person and their job online. Performs a reverse image search for your profile picture. Search and read blog posts about romance scams.

If you suspect a romance scam, unplug it and stop communicating with the other person immediately.

How to report a scam

Pandemics are an isolated and vulnerable time for many, and scammers definitely take advantage of it.

If you are a victim of a romance scam, don’t be shy – the desire to seek love and connection is entirely human need.

All you have to do is submit a report to the police, your financial institution, and BruCert. Cyber ​​Security Brunei This is because the authorities become more aware of how the people are targeted.

You may not be able to recover your loss, but your story can help others to be scammed. Online Romance Scams: How to Find Danger Signals

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