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Hook-up sites that lead members to quick meetings and random liaisons can be used to target people for hate crimes.
A form of catfishing, fake users meet their victims online and then lure them to an isolated location.
This begins by painting a picture of growing financial hardship.
Traffic could be diverted to clone websites where users willingly download malware to their computers.
This goes on until the target is begging to give money and then, after a few small amounts are given, a much larger amount is asked for.
Anyone can fall prey to catfishing scams but there is a preferred demographic: men 40 to 60 years old, who work in tech or financial services, single, possibly living with their parents, have limited conversational skills and are shy/socially awkward.
Verification confirms ID and helps eliminate safety concerns which is why it is such a useful lure for scam artists.
In general, these scams rely on bots to make contact with real users.
Not only do you have to input a vast amount of personal and personally identifiable information in order to use them in most cases, at one point or another, you will have to give up some credit or bank card information as well.