Money laundering scams on social networking sites and apps are worrying the FBI. The organization issued a warning on Monday (5) saying that over the past two years, more than 33,000 Americans have filed complaints with the money laundering fraud, among other activities, through platforms. flirting. The scam, known as catfish, is about emotionally manipulating people on dating sites and apps to make money.
READ: Scam seduces users to steal even money; understand
The statement issued by the FBI indicates that, according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), more than 15,000 people were hit by scams in 2017, causing a loss of more than $ 211 million (R $ 835). , 6 million in direct conversion). The following year, the number of casualties rose to 18,000, with more than $ 362 million (R $ 1.4 billion in direct conversion) in losses. According to organ research, living, women and the elderly are the main targets of fraud.
Criminals use dating sites as bait to apply financial scams Photo: Gabrielle Lancellotti / dnetc
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Fraudulent profiles on flirtatious websites often impersonate Americans living outside the country. For months, they earn the trust of the victims and then try to persuade them to send money to buy gifts and even air tickets under the guise of visiting.
Another common tactic among scammers is that they are in financial trouble and need help. In some cases, the criminal claims that the amount has not arrived and asks the victim to resend the money, the FBI said in a statement. Investigations also point to cases where criminals persuade users to create a bank account that is later used to facilitate fraudulent activities. Unknowingly, the victims are used as money laundering mules.
Be careful on dating sites to avoid catfish scams. Photo: Rassa Delphim / dnetc
Seniors, women and the living are among the most recurring targets of the catfish scam. Confidence-related fraud and romance were the seventh most reported scam in 2018 in the US, according to IC3. Most dating sites do not check criminal records when a registered account alerts the agency, so the platforms offer no security to those behind the profile.
Since most criminals use fake photos not to be discovered on social networking sites, the FBI recommends doing a reverse search on Google. To do this, just right-click on the photo and select Search Google Image.
US police also advise distrusting users who claim to be hopelessly in love at the first interactions and vague answers when asked about their personal lives. It is also important to note that you should never send money or provide bank details to strangers over the Internet.
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