Last year, almost 2,000 dangerous programs used dating apps, according to a Kaspersky Lab press release. In 1,262 cases, it was Tinder, and in 263 cases, it was Badoo.
Dating sites are trendy, and scammers are not missing out on the opportunity to exploit this fact. Users often are unmindful and download fake and illegal versions of such services.
Here are the most common Badoo scam schemes:
Under the pretext that it will be more interesting for users to chat on some other sites, bots provide links to such websites, which are actually phishing links that collect information about your payment cards, or display ads. They can also collect your personal data, such as phone numbers.
In addition to collecting personal data through bots, fraudsters also use ordinary fake accounts. The task is to invite the victim to the marriage agency and impose their services. The person is convinced of the need for psychologists, training, and photo sessions from the agency. The marriage agencies then publish a person's profile on their website and look for grooms/brides on a prepaid basis.
A typical case of remote scams is when someone hiding behind an attractive profile earns a person's trust and makes one like them. Then the fraudster suddenly tells you about a problem that requires urgent financial investments: dad was diagnosed with cancer; grandfather had an accident; ran out of money on the phone. After that, the fraudster sends you the banking details to transfer money and thus invest into future relationships that have already begun to develop.
Another way to monetize is blackmail. Scammers first earn a person's trust, seduce the victim to obtain compromising evidence (for example, through the exchange of erotic photos), and then act according to the situation.
It is another way to implement social engineering in dating services that deserves special mention. The point is to persuade the person to go to a special cinema for two. While the guy fantasizes about what will happen in a private movie theater, he will not think about transferring money. The payment is usually accepted through the same phishing resources that collect payment information. Such cinemas don't exist at the specified addresses, as well as the one who made the appointment.
There is one rule to protect yourself against all of the scam schemes we described — information verification. You should be wary if the communication is too perfect. Check if a person's photos are real, check if they have any social media accounts, and do not follow third-party links without first checking them.
Of course, clarify whether the services you are asked to transfer money to really exist and find out all possible details about them. Usually, scammers do not waste time on those who are too suspicious and will quickly disappear, saving you from unplanned expenses and disappointments.