THE NEW TREND IN ROMANCE SCAMSScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.
PERMANENT DOMINATION THROUGH MALWAREMalware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts.
So far, romance scamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. victims have been incredibly lucky in one respect.
Yes, they have lost much to the scammers, but the scammers were focused on a one-dimensional attack. A straight on manipulative attack to gain money.
However, what comes with vast amounts of money?
As we have seen with the Drug Cartels – with endless streams of money comes incredible sophistication:
- in organization
- in infrastructure
- and battlefield techniques
Today’s Drug Lords are a government in and of themselves, and their “army” is equal in strength to the Mexican Army.
Now think about the Nigerian ScammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. Cartels? Billions pour in every year. Are you still thinking these are just poor men sitting on the floor with a beat up old laptop?
Nigerian and other West African cartels are growing and maturing FAST! They now include one of the world’s fastest-growing hackerHacker A computer hacker is a computer expert who uses their technical knowledge to achieve a goal or overcome an obstacle, within a computerized system by non-standard means. Though the term hacker has become associated in popular culture with a security hacker – someone who utilizes their technical know-how of bugs or exploits to break into computer systems and access data which would otherwise be unavailable to them – hacking can also be utilized by legitimate figures in legal situations. For example, law enforcement agencies sometimes use hacking techniques in order to collect evidence on criminals and other malicious actors. This could include using anonymity tools (such as a VPN, or the dark web) to mask their identities online, posing as criminals themselves. Likewise, covert world agencies can employ hacking techniques in the legal conduct of their work. Oppositely, hacking and cyber-attacks are used extra- and illegally by law enforcement and security agencies (conducting warrantless activities), and employed by State actors as a weapon of both legal and illegal warfare. forces (not what you call a hacker – but real cyberwarfare level hackers).
They have moved from the cheap trick scams of 419419 An advance fee scam or fraud (419 scam) is a form of fraud and is one of the most common types of online confidence tricks. The scam typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, in return for a small up-front payment, which the fraudster claims will be used to obtain the large sum. If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim or simply disappears. The 419 comes from the Nigerian law against this type of scam. and other scams to more sophisticated BEC scams and are now fully engaged with all manner of phishing scams impersonating big businesses and even governments.
However, we have just seen the first examples of something truly frightening.
Malware delivered through romance scams that will permanently grant the scammer access to the victim.
We expected attackers will find new methods of luring victims through malvertisingMalvertising Malvertising: Malicious online advertising that contains malware — software intended to damage or disable computers. (malware delivered through advertising clicks). But this is more in the form of Trojans that infect the scam victim’s phone or computer to prevent blockingBlocking Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots ••• of the scammer. Thus, giving the scammer a more permanent way to reach and rescam victims.
Exactly what methods this will be will evolve, but it will include keyloggers that trap logins and passwords so the scammers can “take Over” a victim’s accounts and use them to launch scam attacks against friends and families in the victim’s name.
It will also, likely include Bank Account takeovers to drain funds without having to ask for money – bank to bank – through MULES or direct.
Considering the geopolitical climate, we can also expect information theft to continue through the use of surveillance software, as well as via attacks leveraging non-public exploits.
Additionally, we expect to see more worms and other commodity malware that can spread rapidly from the victim’s own devices – thus making them unknowing accomplices.
This is the real impact of victims’ failure to report scammers. Governments for too long ignored the problem because it was not large enough to be worth the investment of time and energy. Now it is too late, and larger scale measures need to be taken.
Unfortunately, this will be a lay down for the scammers, since most victims refuse to share the knowledge they have gained due to their own embarrassment. Between not reporting these crimes, and not sharing the knowledge, everyone else is at risk.