The Belgian regulator, the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA), says scammers are employing new techniques which target Tinder and Facebook users. Using what the FSMA terms an “emotional scam,” criminals are targeting male users of the dating app Tinder with promises of exceptional returns on investments. However, the purported investments are in fact part of a plot to defraud unsuspecting Tinder users. As soon as the scammer gets the victim’s money, they disappear.
Use of Fake Profiles
In a public warning issued Dec. 3, the Belgian regulator explains how cybercriminals target male users of the app with fake profiles that feature “pictures of a charming woman.” According to the warning, the scammer(s), who usually uses a portrait of a woman of Asian descent, initiates contact by dropping a “Super Like” on the targeted victim’s Tinder profile. Once communication is established, the scammer will convince the victim to move the chat to Whatsapp.
As the discussion continues on Whatsapp, the scammer will eventually explain how “she doesn’t have to worry about money and her financial future.” This prompts the targeted person to become curious.
When the victim asks how she is making all that money, the scammer will then reveal her “secret” and asks the victim to follow her footsteps by investing in cryptocurrencies (new ICOs). The scammer will send the victim a link to the investing website. However, the FSMA warns the link will instead direct the victim to a “fraudulent online trading platform typically produced in English and Chinese.”
Hacked Facebook Accounts
Meanwhile, in addition to targeting Tinder users, scammers are also hacking Facebook accounts and are using the comprised accounts to promote fraudulent investment schemes. The FSMA explains:
They will for example publish on the account of one of your friends a post boasting of an investment offer providing an exceptional return. If you click on that post, the scammers will usually very quickly call you to present their fraudulent offer.
Meanwhile, the regulator is warning those seeking to invest to be wary of investments that promise returns which are completely disproportionate. It adds “where a return seems too good to be true, it usually is.”
Furthermore, the FSMA is encouraging investors to do a background check of the investment company before committing funds. Finally, the FSMA wants investors to consult its website before committing funds to an investment platform.
Do you know of other social media techniques used by scammers? Tell us in the comments section below.
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