COVID-19 caused a surge in online dating

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic online dating sites have seen a tremendous surge in memberships. People are seeking romance online since in person dating was sharply curtailed by lock downs. Naturally this proved to be an irresistible lure to scammers around the world. So much so that the FBI has recently issued a warning concerning confidence fraud which are increasingly targeting people who are looking for love online.

The surge in these types of scams have very real costs that impact those who fall victim to them in two main ways:

According to FBI statistics these scams have cost their victims more than $113 million since the start of 2021 but the financial cost is just the beginning. Since these scams are designed to play with the emotions of their victims there's a very real emotional cost as well.

To execute the swindle the scammers, begin by creating fake profiles on online dating websites and begin conversing with potential matches in the dating site's ecosystem.

Once a potential victim is on the hook and lured by the prospect of romance the scammer will invent a story about a sudden crisis. This inevitably moves the conversation to asking for money to help a sick family member or to help cover travel expenses to facilitate an in-person face to face meeting. Naturally there is no crisis, and no meeting will ever take place. The entire point of the story is to try and convince the victim to part with his or her money.


FBI Advisory recommends the following

  • Never send money, trade, or invest per the advice of someone you have solely met online.
  • Do not disclose your current financial status to unknown and un-trusted individuals.
  • Do not provide your banking information, Social Security Number, copies of your identification or passport, or any other sensitive information to anyone online or to a site you do not know is legitimate.
  • If an online investment or trading site is promoting unbelievable profits, it is most likely that--unbelievable.
  • Be cautious of individuals who claim to have exclusive investment opportunities and urge you to act fast.


My perspective

It's excellent advice. Be sure your employees are aware of the current trend and on their guard against it.


Remember what Forrest Gump said:
"Mama always said life like a box of chocolates… You never know what you're gonna get"


By Denis Wilson

Cybersecurity Expert, Small Business Technology Consultant, Managed Services Provider, Managed IT Support

Thanks for reading this short post. For more tips on thriving with small business technology, check out the other blog posts at DWPIA Blogs. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter

I am also a published author and speaker on cloud computing, work@home, and cybersecurity. I work extensively with business and professional associations to provide free small business technology education programs.


Contact me if you would like me to speak for free to your association