Singlesource IT has been an integral partner in managing and implementing our technology needs. They not only provide exceptional service and responsiveness, they anticipate and prepare to help in guiding the direction of growth in our company. By assisting in making us more efficient and economical they ultimately help make us more profitable.”

Meyers + Associates Architecture, LLC.

Christopher Meyers, Principal Architect

 

 

Main | Cloudbleed! Cloudflare’s Major Bug Is Leaking Your Data »
Thursday
Aug032017

Romance Scams: Fraudsters Learn to Hack Your Heart.

Social Media has revolutionized communication. Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn keep old associates in touch and bring new people together every day.

However, not everyone who looks you up is a friend.

A recent FBI report profiled a woman in Texas who was ultimately taken for $2 million by a group of Nigerian con artists. They claimed to be a businessman named Charlie, a friend-of-a-facebook-friend, who needed some loans to cover temporary cash-flow problems in his international construction business. “Charlie” was patient. He took two years to build the relationship – and the romance – before siphoning off his victim’s funds with a string of bad-luck tales.

From the FBI:

It’s called a romance scam, and this devastating Internet crime is on the rise. Victims—predominantly older widowed or divorced women targeted by criminal groups usually from Nigeria—are, for the most part, computer literate and educated. But they are also emotionally vulnerable. And con artists know exactly how to exploit that vulnerability because potential victims freely post details about their lives and personalities on dating and social media sites.
Trolling for victims online “is like throwing a fishing line,” said Special Agent Christine Beining, a veteran financial fraud investigator in the FBI’s Houston Division who has seen a substantial increase in the number of romance scam cases. “The Internet makes this type of crime easy because you can pretend to be anybody you want to be. You can be anywhere in the world and victimize people,” she said. “The perpetrators will reach out to a lot of people on various networking sites to find somebody who may be a good target. Then they use what the victims have on their profile pages and try to work those relationships and see which ones develop.”

While the tools have changed, the con is still the same: Earn the victim’s trust, gain access, and then commit the crime. This is true for phishing attacks, fraudulent websites, and all sorts of online scams: The fraudster presents something that looks believable, but under investigation is not.

They might trick you in a click, or like Charlie, string you along for years. Either way, it’s up to you to be vigilant, stay savvy, and vet the information that you find online. If you need a second opinion, we’re here to help.

From keeping your computer and devices secure to tracing the source of suspicious emails, we have the tools to keep you safe. Social Media can be a wonderful, useful thing. Don’t be afraid to get out there, network, and make friends. But when someone offers something too good to be true – whether in business or love – think it through before you say “I do.”