Avoid scams when looking for love online

A security software firm has warned Internet users of scams as more people seek love online this Valentine’s Day.

In a SecureList.com blog post published on Thursday, Kaspersky Lab senior spam analyst Tatyana Kulikova noted that several scammers are out to “manipulate the human desire to find a partner” through virtual “honey traps” such as spam e-mails and fake dating websites.

An example of this is the “Nigerian spam,” which involves so-called love letters from a girl who is willing to share her wealth with a potential groom, who will then be tricked into paying for legal services.

Another is the “Russian bride” scam where a cybercriminal poses as a woman who seeks to meet the man of her dreams.

“The Internet offers ample opportunities for communication. However, it is not always a safe place to search for romance. We have described only a few of the honey traps lying in wait on the Internet,” Kulikova said.

With these scams, people encouraged to establish relationships only with those they have met outside the online world.

But for those who still want to give online dating a try, Kulikova has these tips:

Do not visit unknown dating sites, especially those advertised in spam.
Do not open e-mails from unknown senders.
Do not reply to e-mails if they seem suspicious.
Do not trust excessively generous or doubtful offers even if they are made by a pretty girl or a handsome man.
Use reliable security solutions to protect your computer.


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