Saturday, March 10, 2012

Social Networking Gives Fake Love

The Perils of Social Networking Love

social love
A friend of mine who knows that my line of work involves internet security came to me with a problem she faced. A friend of hers met a guy from a different country on one of these social networks and fell in love with him over time. It might be important to note that it was the guy who initiated the contact.
That’s generally great; however, my friend is afraid that he may be trying to play her friend and after hearing the story I think she is quite right to be worried, so much so that I believe it’s even worse than what she was initially suspecting.
Fake Love
The first red flag was raised when this guy said that he really wants to meet her but unfortunately needs a large sum of money in order to get a visa to visit the country. Classic dating scam. Luckily the sum which he said he needed was so large that she couldn’t afford it, because if she did it is quite likely that she would have sent it over without a second thought. As if that wasn’t enough proof of this person’s malicious intent, another girl contacted my friend’s friend and told her about her bad experience with this person and cautioned her to be careful. However, when confronted with this information, the potentially malicious person said that he used to date the girl who had contacted her but had left her a while ago and now she just wants revenge. The girl believed his story even in light of the earlier scam attempt.
However what really got me worried was what came next. This guy suggested that they should meet in a different country and get married there. The biggest problem here is that, as far as I could tell from my research, the country which he suggested and the home country of this girl has the same exact same visa requirements. Actually the country which he suggested requires extra monetary guaranties that he would need to fulfill, which he wouldn’t need to for a visa in the girl’s country of residence. What’s a lot worse is that the country which he suggested is pretty well known for human trafficking.

Fake Love
And this had a profound effect on me because the first thing that went through my mind is one of the first things that you’re taught in security i.e. never think that it cannot happen to you. I honestly admit that my first thought was that it couldn’t possibly be that bad, I was just being paranoid. But then my security instinct kicked in and I decided that it’s better to be safe than sorry so I told my friend what I was suspecting – that this guy tried to scam the girl, but because she wasn’t rich enough to satisfy his scam, he might be going to plan B which is to try to sell her instead. I didn’t take this decision lightly; I know my friend came to me to ease her worry primarily and I was about to make it a lot worse but I dreaded the consequences which would be a lot worse, if it turned out that I wasn’t being paranoid after all.
After a lot of effort we managed to convince the girl not to travel to meet him, however she still insists that he is genuine. Yes, she still thinks that she wasn’t being scammed when he asked her for money.
Internet Blogs
Best Blogs