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Kingston Police warn of romance scam targeting single men over social media

Photo by Sergey Zolkin.

Kingston Police are warning the public of a romance scam using a female voice to target single men.

“In a recent phishing attack that targets single men, cybercriminals show us how they use modern technology to trick their victims,” said Constable Ash Gutheinz, Media Relations Officer, C.O.R.E. Unit. “The scam starts with the cybercriminal posing as a single woman and befriending their target on social media. Then, they start building rapport with the target through various interactions. Eventually, the cybercriminal sends audio messages with a woman’s voice to convince their target that they are who they claim to be.”

The target doesn’t know it, but the cybercriminal is actually using voice-changing software to disguise their true identity, according to a release from Kingston Police, dated Wednesday, Apr. 28, 2021. If the target falls for the fake audio messages, they receive a video file of their newfound love interest. Except, the file is actually a dangerous piece of malware designed to grant the cybercriminals access to the victim’s entire system.

This tactic isn’t exclusive to romantic scams, police say, so be sure to remember these tips:

  • Keep your social media accounts private and only accept friend requests from people that you know and trust.
  • If you meet someone online, be sure to verify their identity. You could use a search engine to find their other social media profiles or simply ask to have a video call to make a face-to-face connection.
  • Remember that cybercriminals can use more than just links within emails to phish for your information. Always think before you click!

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