The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning the LGTBQ+ community of targeted scams on dating apps. Threat actors are using multiple scams to target the LGTBQ+ community that include tricking individuals on dating apps to send explicit photos and then using the photos as blackmail. The scammers will start a relationship on the app and earn individuals’ trust by sending explicit photos and asking the victims to reciprocate. The criminals will then threaten to leak photos publicly and share them with friends, family, and employers if a ransom is not paid. The threat actors usually ask for payment in the form of untraceable gift cards. Scammers have also targeted members of the LGBTQ+ community that use the app but are not publicly ‘out’ as LGBTQ+ and threaten to out them for a ransom. These tactics are not new. In September 2021, the FBI reported that online romance scams caused Americans over $113 million in losses since the beginning of 2021.
Written by: Nataliia Zdrok, Threat Intelligence Analyst at Binary Defense Russia’s invasion of Ukraine increased