Can you tell an online romance scammer?
Online dating is a significant part of the modern dating world—by the end of 2020, over 32 million Americans were using online dating services, and the industry is expected to surpass one billion dollars in revenue in 2021.
Not only that, but the isolation brought on by COVID-19 has caused a huge spike in online dating—OkCupid saw a 700% increase in rates since last May! But for all the online dating world has to offer, it’s important to understand the dangers that exist when it comes to online scammers.
One scam, known as catphishing, is a type of scam where cybercriminals use a fake identity to lure unknowing victims into a relationship, with the intent to exploit them for money or some other reward.
Catphishing has become increasingly prevalent on dating sites and apps, where targets seeking romance may be more emotionally vulnerable—and thus more likely to fall for a cat phishers lies.
There are different motivations for why someone might perform a catphishing scam, the most common being financial gain.
They might also be after personal information or access to private data they can use to commit crimes like fraud or identity theft.
A catphisher may also target victims for the purpose of stealing their photos and information, which they can use to fake their identity in future catphishing schemes.
Connecting with strangers online will always come with a level of risk, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find love online and stay safe at the same time.
Being aware of the warning signs can help you spot a catphisher or online scammer before they have the chance to do any harm.
For a deep dive on how to recognize online scammers and tips on how you can protect yourself online, check out this visual by Panda Security.
Having a safer online dating experience is 100% possible—once you know the warning signs and the best ways to protect yourself, you’ll be able to spot scammers from a mile away.