Dating app users urged to investigate accounts they match with

Dating app users urged to investigate accounts they match with
Eugene Kaspersky, chief executive officer of cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab, addresses delegates of the Security Analyst Summit 2019 in Singapore.
PHOTO: Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network

SINGAPORE - Before hoping for romance with someone whom you "matched" with in a mobile dating application, investigate first if the account is a bot and is making you fall, not in love, but into a trap.

A cybersecurity expert on Tuesday said cybercriminals may be taking advantage of legitimate users of dating apps to commit crime.

"They set up some accounts of robot, so when you match with this person, it will send you a message like 'Hi, how are you, honey?' As soon as you reply, there will be another message saying, 'I'm fine.' It's all scripted," said David Jacoby, senior security researcher at cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab.

At the sidelines of the three-day Security Analyst Summit (SAS) hosted here by the company, Jacoby told INQUIRER.net that these bots will eventually send a message to legitimate users asking them to chat outside of the dating app and into another website.

He said the bots will then send a link that will redirect to a porn site, or a website spreading malware or demanding payment for content.

"Whatever the intention is, eventually you will be redirected to somewhere else. It will say, 'If you want to see more pictures of me, then you can go to this website,'" he said.

To spare themselves from unnecessary heartbreak, Jacoby urged dating app users to conduct some investigation first in other social media accounts of the profiles they match with.

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