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Millions of Americans visit online dating websites every year hoping to find a companion or even a soulmate.
But as Valentine’s Day gets closer, the FBI wants to warn you that criminals use these sites, too, looking to turn the lonely and vulnerable into fast money through a variety of scams..
He also mentioned that he learned of Instagram's API flaw in an IRC (internet relay chat) discussion, saying other people have probably exploited the bug as well.
Instagram co-founder and CTO Mike Krieger said in a blog post: "Although we cannot determine which specific accounts may have been impacted, we believe it was a low percentage of Instagram accounts."He noted that no passwords or other Instagram activity were revealed.
The popular Facebook-owned social media network said they quickly fixed the bug and have been working with law enforcement on the matter.
However, it appears that the breach affected more than just a few high-profile accounts.
Multiple media outlets and a security firm have reported that the affected celebrity users range from Emma Watson, Emilia Clarke and Taylor Swift to the POTUS, David Beckham and Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar.
Earlier this week, Instagram disclosed that a bug in its API was exploited by hackers to obtain the phone numbers and email addresses of some of its "high-profile users".
While the FBI and other federal partners work some of these cases—in particular those with a large number of victims or large dollar losses and/or those involving organized criminal groups—many are investigated by local and state authorities.
In addition to losing your money to someone who had no intention of ever visiting you, you may also have unknowingly taken part in a money laundering scheme by cashing phony checks and sending the money overseas and by shipping stolen merchandise (the forwarded package).
In another recently reported dating extortion scam, victims usually met someone on an online dating site and then were asked to move the conversation to a particular social networking site, where the talk often turned intimate.
The hackers launched a website with a searchable database to sell the email addresses and phone numbers of six million users that were scraped before the glitch was fixed for just per enquiry via Bitcoin, Ars Technica reports."So far we've had 12 deposits totalling around 0," the site operator told Ars on Friday (September 1) roughly six hours after website went live.
"Not a horrible start."The person also provided Ars with a sample of 10,000 of the alleged records that the site and security researcher Troy Hunt "all but concluded is legitimate".
These criminals—who also troll social media sites and chat rooms in search of romantic victims—usually claim to be Americans traveling or working abroad. While their most common targets are women over 40 who are divorced, widowed, and/or disabled, but every age group and demographic is at risk. You’re contacted online by someone who appears interested in you.