Con artists employ cutting-edge technology in newest version of romance scams

FTC: Victims lose $547M in 2021
Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 3:26 PM EST
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InvestigateTV - Scammers have long targeted people looking to make a love connection, but now experts are warning those in the dating pool of an emerging romance con: the deep fake scam.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) $547 million was lost to romance scams in 2021 with the typical victim losing around $2,400.

In this new version, fraudsters use fake photos and artificial intelligence during video chats to conceal their identity.

Georgia State University professor and Director of the Evidence Based Cyber Security Group Dr. David Maimon said scammers once avoided video chat, but now the deep fakes are incredibly lifelike.

“What we’re seeing in the context of romance fraud is more and more criminals using AI tools in order to talk to victims under fake non-existent identities using videos,” Maimon explained.

He also cautioned that scammers frequent online dating sites to look for victims.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued warnings about romance scams and shared tips to avoid them:

  • Only use reputable online dating sites
  • Be wary of anyone who seems too good to be true
  • Look out for signs that someone is trying to isolate you from family members and friends
  • Be careful about the personal information you post online – scammers can use this to target you

If you think you have been a victim of a romance scam, you can report it to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).