New scam uses your phone number to steal your online identity

In , the number of complaints from consumers about this type of scam exploded at Fraud. The practice exists in a legal gray area, but judging by the number of followers of some of the more popular sugar babies on social media networks, including Instagram and YouTube, there may be significant numbers of consumers looking for these types of relationships. For example, one of the more popular sugar daddy websites, Seeking. The scammer poses as a prospective sugar daddy and nurtures a relationship, ultimately offering to pay off the credit card balance of their sugar baby victim. Once this is done, the scammer—still playing the role of sugar daddy—demands that the victim purchase gift cards such as Apple iTunes cards, Google Play cards, or Steam cards that can be redeemed remotely as a thank you to their new patron. Too often, the sugar baby goes along with the scheme remember: their credit card account appears to have just been paid off by their generous new friend , buys the gift cards, and sends codes for the cards to their sugar daddy. Any funds deposited on the gift cards is quickly drained by the scammer. Sugar babies who refuse to buy gift cards report being met with abusive, threatening, or even black-mailing responses from the new friend and often cave to the pressure. Unfortunately, the accounts used to pay off the credit card balances are fraudulent, and once a credit card company catches on, the recently deposited funds will disappear from the account, leaving the victim on the hook for both the original balance and the cost of the newly purchased gift cards.

Online Dating Scams and How to Protect Yourself

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*ask you to set up a password or PIN number over the phone *ask you to call a independent. For up to date advice on scam HMRC phone calls, visit

You’d think Tinder’s biggest audience would be hopeless romantics, and you might be right. But there’s another audience out in cyberspace that’s all in on the location-based mobile dating app, too – scammers and fraudsters. Make no mistake, Tinder scams stemming from fraudulent activity are the real deal, and the risk of a Tinder member walking away with a compromised identity instead of a date at the local bistro Saturday night are very real.

That’s not exactly a surprise given that the Tinder app is available in countries, and gets, on average, 1. The site also claims it has potentially 20 billion “date matches” and gets users one million dates per week. The company, founded in , also does a good job of collecting repeat customers, giving online fraudsters another bone to chew on. That’s unfortunate, as nobody should go online looking for a romantic partner and walk away from the experience with their identity compromised or as the victim of financial fraud or theft.

Romance Scams

Danton Unger Editorial Producer – Digital. WINNIPEG — Using your cell phone number, fraudsters can take control of your online identity — wreaking havoc on your social media and bank accounts, emails and text messages. One Winnipeg woman who fell victim to this sophisticated type of fraud says phone companies need to do more to protect their customers. Nearly a week ago, Meaghan Ranson got a text message from her service provider Rogers, informing her that it had received a request to send her number to another carrier and asked her to contact them via a link.

Believing it was a scam, Ranson ignored the text message from Rogers and unwittingly let fraudsters take control of her online identity.

Phone scammers are preying on consumer fears over the novel A scammer leaves an urgent voicemail and a call-back number with an area code. Catfishers create fake identities on dating apps and social media to.

The FBI is advising consumers to be wary when using online dating sites after the agency saw a 70 percent annual increase in reported romance scams. Cybercriminals are reportedly using online dating sites to trick victims into sending money, providing personal and financial information, or even unknowingly acting as a money mule by relaying stolen funds.

Learn these tips for keeping yourself—and your financial accounts—better protected when meeting people online. Romance scams, also called confidence scams, are when a bad actor deceives a victim into believing they have a trusted relationship and then uses the relationship to persuade the victim to give money, personal and financial information, or items of value to the perpetrator. The initial grooming phase can last for days, weeks, or even months , and by that time, the victim may be extremely vulnerable to the scam.

Techniques of romance scammers are varied and may include:. However, elderly people, women, and those who have lost a spouse are often targeted. Fraudsters have used dating sites to find and target victims for some time, but there is a new twist on romance scams that involves international criminal networks using dating sites to recruit money mules. The victim is then asked to receive and send money from that account.

These bank accounts, the FBI says, may be used to facilitate criminal activities. Even if the account is flagged and closed by the financial institution, the scammer may continue to scam the same victim by asking them to open a new account or may begin grooming a new victim. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep yourself—and your financial accounts—better protected when meeting new people online. If you believe you have been a victim of a confidence or romance scam, the FBI recommends the following actions:.

‘I pawned my nan’s jewellery for a dating scammer’

Last Updated: April 24, References Tested. This article was co-authored by Maya Diamond, MA. She has 11 years of experience helping singles stuck in frustrating dating patterns find internal security, heal their past, and create healthy, loving, and lasting partnerships. The wikiHow Tech Team also followed the article’s instructions and verified that they work.

It was thought that women were the main targets for online-dating scammers. who lost over £, to an online-dating scam, told the BBC: “Somebody’s got inside and don’t give out your real address, email address or phone number.

We respect your privacy. All email addresses you provide will be used just for sending this story. Just over a year ago, the Department of Justice announced that seven men—six from Nigeria and one from South Africa—had pleaded guilty to conning tens of millions of dollars from Americans via online dating sites. According to the FBI, romance scams and similar confidence scams cost consumers more money than any other kind of Internet fraud. The FBI says it may be embarrassing for victims to report this type of fraud scheme because of the personal relationships that are developed, so the real numbers are probably higher.

As one result, fear of a horrible first date is just one of the things a would-be online dater has to worry about. Eventually a pitch for money comes. Often the scammer will say an emergency situation has arisen and money is needed fast to avoid dire consequences. This makes it hard for the victim to do due diligence. The scammer might say that an immediate family member has a medical emergency and needs money for treatment, or that he has been wrongly arrested and needs help with bail money and legal support.

Run a search. Copy the images your online correspondent has posted to his or her profile, then run them through a reverse-image search engine, such as TinEye or Google Images. The website Scamalytics maintains a blacklist of scammers who use false pictures. Interrogate the backstory.

5 ways to outsmart a scammer

If you have a complaint about how a company is handling your personal information, click privacy concerns. The site provides streamlined checklists and sample letters to guide you through the recovery process. Visit ftc.

How about if we text or communicate though our personal phone/email?” Moving off-site before launching a scam reduces the chance that.

Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, apps or social media by pretending to be prospective companions. They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details. How this scam works Warning signs Protect yourself Have you been scammed? More information. Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact.

They have even been known to telephone their victims as a first introduction. They may use a fictional name, or falsely take on the identities of real, trusted people such as military personnel, aid workers or professionals working abroad. Dating and romance scammers will express strong emotions for you in a relatively short period of time, and will suggest you move the relationship away from the website to a more private channel, such as phone, email or instant messaging.

They often claim to be from Australia or another western country, but travelling or working overseas. They may take months to build what may feel like the romance of a lifetime and may even pretend to book flights to visit you, but never actually come. They may also ask you to send pictures or videos of yourself, possibly of an intimate nature. Often the scammer will pretend to need the money for some sort of personal emergency. For example, they may claim to have a severely ill family member who requires immediate medical attention such as an expensive operation, or they may claim financial hardship due to an unfortunate run of bad luck such as a failed business or mugging in the street.

How to Avoid a Romance Scam When Using Online Dating Sites

Do you have questions about your vision health? A Pew Research Center study revealed that nearly 60 percent of U. But seeking romantic bliss online can have a major downside: Cyberspace is full of scammers eager to take advantage of lonely hearts. The con works something like this: You post a dating profile and up pops a promising match — good-looking, smart, funny and personable.

This potential mate claims to live in another part of the country or to be abroad for business or a military deployment.

Keep up to date and subscribe to NZ Police news and insights This scam can be quite effective due to the scammer’s targeting of unsuspecting people Localised telephone numbers can be sourced to look like the caller is based in NZ or.

This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet. This scam, also known as port-out or SIM splitting fraud, allows criminals to hijack your cellphone number. Once they have your number, the bad guys can clean out your financial accounts, confiscate your email, delete your data and take over your social media profiles. Fraudsters can do all this because many companies — including banks, brokerages, email providers and social media platforms — verify your identity by texting a code to your cellphone.

Intercepting those codes can give a criminal an all-access pass to your financial and digital life. The potential damage is so great that security expert Avivah Litan, vice president at research firm Gartner Inc. Sometimes the scam artists bribe or blackmail carrier employees; sometimes, the employees are the criminals. Once they persuade the carrier to transfer your number to a phone they control, they can attack your other accounts.

Victims report being forced to educate phone company employees about the fraud and having their numbers stolen more than once, even after protections were supposedly in place.

5 Ways to spot an online-dating scammer

Sure, you can find love online. You could also find yourself falling for a clever con artist who will gain your trust and rob you blind. It happens all too often. For the past two years, more money has been lost to romance scams than any other type of scam reported to the FTC.

This wikiHow teaches you how to avoid being scammed on dating sites. If possible, restrict your country/state/region, phone number, email address, job, and.

Millions of people turn to online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone. But instead of finding romance, many find a scammer trying to trick them into sending money. Read about the stories romance scammers make up and learn the 1 tip for avoiding a romance scam. People reported losing more money to romance scams in the past two years than to any other fraud reported to the FTC.

Romance scammers create fake profiles on dating sites and apps, or contact their targets through popular social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, or Google Hangouts. The scammers strike up a relationship with their targets to build their trust, sometimes talking or chatting several times a day. Then, they make up a story and ask for money. Scammers ask you to pay by wiring money, with reload cards, or with gift cards because they can get cash quickly and remain anonymous.

They also know the transactions are almost impossible to reverse.

Perusing dating sites? Beware the latest twist on romance scams: The Sugar Daddy set-up

Sh’reen Morrison had been on an online dating site for only a few weeks before she realized that something was seriously wrong with the man who had been actively pursuing her by text message and email. They’d hit it off right away, and he said he lived just outside of Phoenix, which seemed relatively proximate to a woman in remote Yuma, Ariz.

But meeting in person was always a problem. First, he was traveling through India with his daughter. Then the daughter became ill and had to be hospitalized.

After chatting on Grindr for a few minutes, he will give you his phone number and ask if you can continue the chat via text. He may say that Grindr.

A Grindr scam that has been reported in other parts of the country has recently been reported by Grindr users in the New Orleans area. This latest scam follows some variation of the following:. You are chatting with someone who claims to be a young man years old. After chatting on Grindr for a few minutes, he will give you his phone number and ask if you can continue the chat via text.

Once you start chatting via text, he will ask you to send nude pictures. After a few more texts and picture exchanges, he will tell you that he will be in touch later to set a time to meet. A few days or maybe a week later, you will receive a call stating that the person you were chatting with was actually a minor posing as an adult, and his parents or teacher discovered the texts on his phone, including the nude pictures that you sent.

It’s Your Turn – Scam A Scammer! 855-474-7596 other numbers in video description