No doubt you have heard of online dating scams designed to entice you into a long-term (albeit long-distance) marriage, though actually seeking an illegal separation between you and your billfold. Many think no one could be so gullible. Don’t be so sure. The FBI reports that nearly 20,000 people, many of them elderly, fell victim to this scam in 2019 (fifth highest number of scam victims, but second highest in dollar loss at $475 mm according to 2019 Internet Crime Report). You would be surprised at who has been so hoodwinked; you may even know someone who has but has been too embarrassed to admit it.
A short, but informative, article on common “tells” to look for when your long-sought one-and-only suddenly appears on the scene can be found here. The article even provides a quick tip on how to use the Google images website to check out the validity of your imaginary lover’s photo. If you are not an easy target, pass this information on to someone you know who might be, particularly an elderly and lonely relative or friend. Help them find someone who shares their pain, not inflicts it.
Check out our series, Privacy Perils, to learn what steps you can take to guard your personal and company data. For more information about this topic and other cyber security concerns, please contact Bob Brewer, Tony McFarland, Elizabeth Warren or a member of our Privacy & Data Security team.