Online dating fraud victims at record high

The rise of online dating has been phenomenal. In fact, a research paper published by the Association for Psychological Research found that online dating services are now the second most popular way for people to find love.

For those hoping to begin a romantic relationship this is great news – there’s a huge number of people available who are also looking for love.

But just like every other online activity, you need to be smart.

So how can you protect yourself?

1. Don’t share too much information

Many people run into problems because they share too much information up front. Including your email address or personally identifiable information in your profile picture gives away details that cybercriminals can later exploit.

Instead, use the communications tools provided by the dating service to share information once you are sure your date is trustworthy.

2. Don’t download attachments

We all love to receive Valentines cards, and criminals will use this against us. Never download ecards from dubious websites because they may contain malware that will infect your computer, stealing personal data.

You can help protect yourself against dodgy ecards with robust antivirus software. Scan all your incoming email attachments to avoid becoming a victim.

Download a free trial of Panda Security now to ensure you are protected.

3. Don’t share bank details

Dating sites are a great way to meet people and find love across the world. But beware of anyone asking you to pay for them to visit you – they may be using a phishing scam to steal more than your heart.

Never give your bank details to anyone online, no matter how hard you have fallen for them. Some unscrupulous scammers will take that information and use it to empty your bank account.

Be sensible

It’s always hard to remain objective when you are falling in love, and that’s why criminals target dating sites. But to stay safe, you must follow these three simple rules, or risk becoming another statistic.

The good news is that by keeping personal information private, avoiding suspicious email attachments, and not sharing your bank details, you have everything in place for when you do find “the one”.

Good luck, and happy Valentine’s Day!