Valentine's Day Chocolates and Catfish Scams
Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and if you're like me you're looking forward to a nice box of chocolates.
Unfortunately, online fraudsters have something else in mind for you. They are flooding your inboxes and social media DMs with scams that have been specially crafted to tug at your heartstrings. These scams are known as Catfishing. It’s in the news now again when a celebrity falls for the scam. But it can happen to anyone.
What’s a Catfish (Besides the fish that swims in murky waters)?
It’s an online con where someone assumes a new identity to seduce you via the internet.
Some people do this for companionship because they feel like their own identity isn’t good enough. Others do it to trap you into handing over money or services.
Think of a ‘catfish’ as a person who creates a false online identity in the hopes of luring people into romantic or emotional relationships with bad intentions.
Once emotionally vested you are more likely to quickly hand over the $$$$.
How it can start on social media
The fraudster typically sends a new connection request on Facebook or Instagram (but it can happen anywhere online). It can be your personal or business account. They probably have an impressive and amazing photo - they look like a model or they’re in a military uniform. After you accept the connection, the DMs begin. It starts innocently enough, but the fraudster is good and tugs at your heartstrings like a pro. Before you know it you’re vested in this relationship…
Spot a catfishing scam in 3 easy steps
- They never want to meet in person, video chat, or talk on the phone.
- Things get too serious or too personal WAY too fast.
- They are constantly making you feel sorry for them and need you to be the HERO and rescue them… with your money
If that picture seems phishy you can do a reverse image search to see where else it’s been. Websites such as https://tineye.com are a great resource.
📷 The Chocolate Fish Co.