When it doesn’t click: how to tell when an online ‘lovebug’ is a ...

Lifestyle

When it doesn’t click: how to tell when an online ‘lovebug’ is a parasite

Online dating is teeming with cases of fraud, identity theft and malware

Bianca Gardella

Few things are sacred to today’s cybercriminals, and true love certainly isn’t one of them. Dating scams are a fast-growing area of cybercrime, rising by a third year-on-year in some countries, and it includes fraud, identity theft and malware attacks, says Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO at ESET South Africa.

Don’t be ashamed to ‘play detective’

Millions of people use dating sites, but they do carry risks that normal dating does not. You don’t know whether the person you are speaking to is real, where they’re from, or whether they’re someone different. In the old days you would often meet people via friends of friends – but you don’t have this reassurance online. So play detective. If they won’t tell you where they work, worry. Likewise, if they keep asking questions about you, but never answer any about themselves, worry. Search them on LinkedIn, or just Google – it’s almost impossible not to leave traces online these days. If someone has not, they probably aren’t real...

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