We have seen various types of online frauds happening in this day and age. Also, we recently reported about a type of fraud which doesn’t harm you directly but it is equally dangerous. This is regarding the ‘unsubscribe emails’ which are used to check your email address for ‘liveness’.
Now, the FBI has issued a warning against a trending cybercrime method which is very unique. FBI says that the criminals are using dating sites such as Tinder and others to fraud people.
Since this was published as a PSA or public service announcement, the details are available in open to everyone. However, there must have been enough cases for the FBI to serve this PSA in the first place. Talking about this PSA, the FBI says that groups recruiting money mules are active again. Money Mules is a term used for people who launder money for criminal groups.
However, the thing here is that Money Mules are now active on online dating sites. While the modus operandi of these money mules previously was to post fake job ads, that has now changed. Previously, they would post fake job ads and recruit people so that they could transfer money using fake LLCs. Now, these people lend money from people they meet on online dating sites.
In the pretext of a relationship, they lend money for reasons such as for airfare to visit, for bail after being imprisoned, legal fees, and others. Since people are not aware that money mule and not a real person is on the other side, they would not question their intentions.
This scam has gotten out of hand and FBI has had to serve a PSA for this reason as well. While there is no way to know if there is a money mule on the other side, it is better to avoid lending money to someone who you have not met personally.