Experts have revealed exactly how you can spot a fake online dating profile before matching with criminals.
The online dating world is swimming with catfish as more and more profiles do without verification checks and upload fake pictures.
Former Queensland Police detective and cyber crime expert Brian Hay gave advice on how to keep safe while dating online.
He advised against adding too much information about yourself because it provided a platform for scammers to create a specific profile that made users believe their potential love interest were “a perfect match made in heaven”.
He also told online daters to do a Google reverse image search on the pictures posted by those they meet online.
“If you’re going to go into any sort of online relationship, dating app or platform you must expect you will be contacted by criminals,” Mr Hay told Today Extra on Tuesday.
“Most crooks will steal an image of an attractive looking person somewhere else in the world.”
Mr Hay also said engaging in a video communication “very quickly” would help validate who the person was, what they looked like and how they sounded.
But with that recommendation came a rather confronting warning.
“We will (eventually) see criminals adopt AI, deep-fake videos to actually start imitating the picture they put out there and we will see them use AI to develop target profiles.
“So they’ll scan the web and the platforms looking for the right person and the AI will tell them this entity here should be targeted with this methodology using these techniques to increase their success rate.
“Sadly, it’s going to get more complex, more sophisticated and they (scammers) will be successful.”
Mr Hay said in recent times there had been an increase in the number of romance scam reports but said it was hard to be certain if the reporting rate had risen or the amount of offending had escalated.
“I would tend to lean to the latter because through the Covid pandemic, people needed to connect with someone and criminals are brilliant, opportunistic people.
“They see an opportunity to really step up, ramp up and rip into the Australian consumer environment to make money.”
His comments came as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) warning people to watch out for dating and romance scams after it cost Australians about $56 million last year.
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