One more step

After a rough divorce the year before, she was thrilled to meet a man who shared her religion, interests, and love of children and animals. Then one day Eric called in a panic, saying his passport had been stolen. Candace wired him the small sum without hesitation — but when he contacted her a few weeks later saying he needed a much bigger sum to pay legal bills, she realized she was being scammed. Her whole relationship with Eric was a scheme to get money out of her. This story is fictional, but the scenario is all too real. More than 14, Americans fell victim to this kind of scam in , up from fewer than 6, in And that number may only represent a fraction of the real total. Some catfishers use these fake identities to annoy or harass others online, or just to flirt without commitment. They lure their victims into an online relationship and use it to get money out of them — sometimes thousands of dollars.

Man and woman use online dating profiles to target U.S. Marines in identity theft scheme

Maintain privacy and avoid identity theft or fraud. Passwords are commonly used in conjunction with your username. In some cases you will also be asked to enter only certain characters of your password, for additional security. Accessing your bank account Purchasing items online with your money Impersonating you on social networking and dating sites Sending emails in your name Accessing the private information held on your computer Choosing the Best Passwords Always use a password.

Use a strong, separate password for your email account.

Online dating (or Internet dating) is a system that enables people to find and introduce themselves to new personal connections over the Internet, usually with the goal of developing personal, romantic, or sexual online dating service is a company that provides specific mechanisms (generally websites or applications) for online dating through the use of Internet-connected.

You receive an email examples below offering to buy your item, pay for your services in advance, or rent your apartment, sight unseen and without meeting you in person. Scams often pretend to involve a 3rd party shipping agent, business associate, etc. Someone requests wire service payment via Western Union or MoneyGram: Deal often seems too good to be true, price is too low, or rent is below market, etc.

Scammer may falsely claim a confirmation code from you is needed before he can withdraw your money. Common countries currently include: Nigeria, Romania, UK, Netherlands—but could be anywhere. Scammer may pretends to be deaf, mute, or unable to speak by phone scammers prefer to operate by email. Sometimes accompanies an offer of merchandise, sometimes not.

Scammer often asks for your name, address, etc.

Identity Theft

History[ edit ] The modern scam is similar to the Spanish Prisoner scam which dates back to the late 18th century. In exchange for assistance, the scammer promised to share money with the victim in exchange for a small amount of money to bribe prison guards. There are many variants of the letters sent. One of these, sent via postal mail, was addressed to a woman’s husband, and inquired about his health.

Many people have been finding love online, but others have not been so fortunate. In fact, romance scams actually cost Americans more money than any other kind of internet fraud. Find out more so you don’t get taken advantage of online.

The Dyfed-Powys area of Mid Wales had the most victims of computer repair fraud where cold callers offer to fix a non-existent glitch, with reports per , people, compared with the general average of This type of fraud was more commonly reported in areas with an older population, Which? Dyfed-Powys was also a hotspot for reported fake services fraud.

This is where victims are conned into paying an upfront fee for services that did not exist, such as falsely offering to make a PPI claim. There were reports per , people, compared with the national average of Hotspots across the country for different types of fraud Residents in Northamptonshire were most likely to report being hit by online shopping and auction scams, reporting that a product sold online did not exist, arrive or match its description.

There were reported frauds per , people, compared with nationally. The Dyfed-Powys area of Mid Wales were the most common victims of computer repair fraud where cold callers offer to fix a non-existent glitch The rankings showed London is a hotspot for various reported scams, including being charged fees for fake loans, social media or email hacking, scam door-to-door sales, fraud involving false or stolen goods and ticket fraud. The capital also saw frequent reports of regular payment fraud, which sees people duped into changing a direct debit, standing order or bank transfer, by pretending to be an organisation the victim regularly pays, such as an energy or phone company.

Reporting Fraud

Extortion scam emails overview Porn Watching Extortion – aka, Sextortion: Not satisfied with trying to con money from victims, some scammers are trying death threats and extortion scams. See this page for more information and sample emails.

Online Dating and Romance Scams. A recent study indicates that 15 percent of American adults use online dating websites or mobile applications. As the number of people looking to meet new people online grows, so does the opportunity for fraud.

Social trends Since the s, Internet dating has become more popular with smartphones. The stigma associated with online dating dropped over the years and people view online dating more positively. Further, during this period, the usage among to year-olds tripled, while that among to year-olds doubled. Online introduction services In , a variation of the online dating model emerged in the form of introduction sites, where members have to search and contact other members, who introduce them to other members whom they deem compatible.

Introduction sites differ from the traditional online dating model, and attracted a large number of users and significant investor interest. Such sites earn revenue from a mix of advertising and sale of additional options. This model also allows users to switch between free and paying status at will, with sites accepting a variety of online currencies and payment options.

Since advertising revenues are modest compared to membership fees, this model requires a large number of page views to achieve profitability. However, Sam Yagan describes dating sites as ideal advertising platforms because of the wealth of demographic data made available by users. While some sites conduct background checks on members, many do not, resulting in some uncertainty around members’ identities.

For instance, some profiles may not represent real humans but rather “bait profiles” placed online by site owners to attract new paying members, or “spam profiles” created by advertisers to market services and products. Profiles created by real humans also have the potential to be problematic.

Preventing Identity Theft

Are you a victim? What to do if you’re a victim Step 1: Gather all information about the fraud. Report the incident to your local law enforcement. This ensures that your police of jurisdiction is aware of what scams are targeting their residents and businesses.

Fraud Alerts. Safeguard your financial information. If you believe you may be the victim of fraud or identity theft, please contact us immediately. We’re here to help. Find a Branch. Contact Us. FTC Warns Consumers About Online Dating Scams (February ) Identity Theft Awareness Week.

Maintain privacy and avoid identity theft or fraud. The Risks Being tricked into divulging personal data in response to an email, text, letter or phone call. Sharing private information with family, friends or people who take you into their confidence. The Symptoms Not receiving bills or other correspondence — suggesting that a criminal has given a different address in place of your own.

Receiving credit cards which you did not apply for. Denial of credit for no apparent reason. Receiving calls from debt collectors or companies about things you have not bought. Unrecognisable entries on your credit history. You have recently lost or had stolen important documents such as your passport or driving licence. When buying or selling, you get complaints about non-delivery of or non-payment for goods you are not aware of.

You see entries on your bank, credit or store card statement for goods you did not order. You cannot log into a site using your normal password because a criminal has logged in as you and changed it. Do not share account information with friends, family or other people.

Are you a victim?

Donate Online dating can be a great way to meet new people you might not interact with in your daily life. Our busy modern lives often lend themselves to more time effective ways of seeking a romantic partner, and online dating has become more and more popular as a result. Be aware that scammers often target dating site users as a way of interacting with strangers so that they can perform any one of numerous online dating scams. What follows are a few simple tips to lower your risk of becoming a victim.

Do not give out personal information:

Use Caution: Online Dating and Identity Theft Online dating can be a great way to meet new people you might not interact with in your daily life. Our busy modern lives often lend themselves to more time effective ways of seeking a romantic partner, and online dating has become more and more popular as .

Maintain privacy and avoid identity theft or fraud. Passwords are commonly used in conjunction with your username. In some cases you will also be asked to enter only certain characters of your password, for additional security. The Risk of Using Weak Passwords People impersonating you to commit fraud and other crimes, including: Accessing your bank account Purchasing items online with your money Impersonating you on social networking and dating sites Sending emails in your name Accessing the private information held on your computer Choosing the Best Passwords Do: Always use a password.

To create a strong password, simply choose three random words. Numbers, symbols and combinations of upper and lower case can be used if you feel you need to create a stronger password, or the account you are creating a password for requires more than just letters. However, be aware that some of these punctuation marks may be difficult to enter on foreign keyboards. Also remember that changing letters to numbers for example E to 3 and i to 1 are techniques well-known to criminals.

A line of a song that other people would not associate with you. Someone else’s mother’s maiden name not your own mother’s maiden name. Use the following as passwords:

A list of resources to keep you safe from identity fraud

Common methods of identity theft Phishing – the scammer tricks you into handing over your personal information. Remote access scams – the scammer tricks you into giving access to your computer and paying for a service you don’t need. The message contains grammatical errors and is poorly written. You notice that amounts of money go missing from your bank account without any explanation.

Avoid Online Dating Scams with These 4 Tips. Avoid Online Dating Scams with These 4 Tips. Posted on February 17, by Ben Keylor in Personal, Scam Alerts. IdentityForce is a leading provider of proactive identity, privacy and credit protection for individuals, businesses, and government agencies.

Share via Email This article is over 7 years old Online dating scams, in which criminals create a false identity and then ask their suitor for cash, are on the rise, warns the organised crime watchdog. Alamy More than , people in Britain may have been conned by fraudsters posing as would-be romantic partners on internet dating sites, according to the first study examining the potential scale of the problem.

Anti-fraud groups have warned for some time about scams, in which criminals create a false identity — often an army officer on active service, explaining an inability to meet in person — and develop a close online intimacy with a victim, who is then asked for cash to help their presumed suitor out of a crisis. It had long been suspected that official figures for such crimes greatly under-represented their prevalence, largely because many victims feel too embarrassed or hurt to go to the police, or never realise they have been conned.

Extrapolating this to the online UK population means more than , potential victims. Monica Whitty, a psychologist and professor of contemporary media at Leicester University, said that the pool of those targeted was likely to be greater still as it did not include people who realised what was happening before they lost money and those who still did not realise they had been conned.

The researchers had been “shocked” at the numbers involved, she said. There has been an assumption that victims tend to be middle-aged women. However, said Whitty, targets were from both genders and all age groups. The use of almost exclusively online communication — the criminals occasionally resort to phone calls but these are rare given the extra difficulty of explaining away an accent — can actually accelerate intimacy, Whitty said, allowing victims to project their own hopes and desires on to a warm and empathic correspondent.

Lots of people get in touch with someone through a dating site, meet them a few weeks later and this person doesn’t live up to their expectations. With an online relationship this never happens.

Catching the Catfish: Finding the identity of your online date