CSO: Strangest social engineering attacks of 2021

    Carl Wearn, head of e-crime at Mimecast, reflects upon another recent social engineering trend that shows significant creativity on the part of fraudsters – online romance fraud. “Over the past two years, as so many people were stuck at home during lockdown, it wasn’t surprising to see the use of dating applications rise as more people looked for companionship. It’s important to understand that during this time, a lot of people were feeling lonely and were particularly vulnerable to the predation of criminals who specialized in dating and online fraud.”

    Common ploys include using false personas of individuals that the user might automatically and naturally feel trust or admiration for, including members of the armed forces or emergency services, Wearn adds. “In this way they seek to play on sentiment and disarm you to gain your trust as rapidly as possible. Their pictures are also likely to have been stolen to enhance the con and there will be multiple excuses over why you cannot meet face to face.”

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