Dating services for criminals
When using a legitimate online dating site, victims are more apt to provide personal information and participate in online “compromising acts.” CID officials are warning Soldiers and others to be very cautious of their online communications and activity and not share intimate, personal information with strangers or people you have never met in person. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Computer Crime Investigative Unit continues to caution the Army community to be on the lookout for “sextortion scams.” Criminals use legitimate online dating sites to make contact with potential victims and then attempt to blackmail them.Officials describe “sextortion scams” as cyber sexual extortion, in which perpetrators conduct schemes that leverage online sexual acts for financial gain or other forms of blackmail.“These criminals will try to get unsuspecting service members to engage in online sexual activities and then demand money or favors in exchange for not publicizing potentially embarrassing information or turning them over to law enforcement,” said Marc Martin, special agent in charge at CCIU’s Washington Metro Office.Most online dating sites offer a set of rules to help people avoid being hurt emotionally, physically or financially.The most important rule is to meet in public places for the first few dates to ensure safety if one of the people have bad intentions.
There are some people who use online dating services and social networking sites to deceive and take advantage of others.“If you met someone online who later claims to be underage, you should immediately cease all communications with that person and notify Army CID,” Martin said. “If law enforcement gets involved early on, there are investigative steps that may help identify the perpetrators responsible for victimizing Army personnel.” For more information about computer security, other computer-related scams and to review previous cyber-crime alert notices and cyber-crime prevention flyers, visit the Army CID CCIU website . People have formed relationships with people through the internet only to find out later that their partner was lying about being single, hiding a criminal past or sex offender conviction or using the relationship to get money.That s why it s so important to find out as much as you can about potential friends and dates before committing to anything.