An email dating scam, existing for at least 15 years, has been growing worldwide in recent weeks, including in Brazil. The increase in attacks was detected by Avast researchers.
Cybercrime works through an email, with a PDF file attached, in which there are photos of a woman, a message “from her” and a link so that the victim can “talk to her”. To circumvent spam, criminals use Google Class to send the same content, but as an invitation.
By clicking on the link, the user is redirected to a website that asks for their e-mail address and requests payment of a subscription of 39.99 euros – in the case of Europe –, with the promise of speaking with the “woman of the your dreams”. After making the supposed contract, the Internet user ends up without the money or the message from the false promised person.
In a period of ten days, Avast was able to detect and block more than 70,000 attacks, of which 7,900 occurred in the first week alone. Despite the United States being the main country attacked, with more than 11,000 attempts, Brazil is also on the list, with 453 attacks identified. The list includes other locations in Europe and Asia, such as France, India and the Czech Republic.
“Cybercriminals take advantage of human frailties, in this case people who are waiting for an easy way to get in touch with women or even find a partner. Sometimes we may wonder how someone would fall for a scam, but in fact, it can happen to anyone at a time when we are not paying attention. We advise people to always be aware in the digital world. However, to protect them, human-centric security solutions are critical so that people are warned, as soon as possible.”
Avast Security Specialist
How to protect yourself?
Avast has provided some security tips to protect against this new scam. One of them consists of not clicking on any link or downloading an attached file, when coming from an unknown sender.
Also, a tip for learning how to decipher a fraudulent email is whether it is something you would expect to receive, and from whom. It is also worth checking the grammar and spelling of the email, to identify that it was not sent by someone known and well-intentioned.
If any doubt arises that may cause insecurity to open the content, the best way is to delete it. It’s also important to keep your antivirus up to date and have email protection features enabled.
So, have you ever received this attempted dating scam by email? Interact with us!