The hoax that has put the National Police on alert: if they write this to you, block it

The National Police has warned of the new technique used by cybercriminals to steal money: 'the love scam'. To do this, the scammers establish a false relationship with the victim. But this love story does not have a happy ending.

Many people use online platforms to connect and chat with other users. However, you need to be very careful. And it is that Internet scammers have found, in this space, a new way to carry out their scams.

  1. This is 'the love scam'
  2. The phases of this scam that worries Spain
  3. 1. First phase: the first contact
  4. 2. Second phase: the robbery
  5. Recommendations to avoid falling into the 'love scam'
  6. 1. Restrict profile
  7. 2. Investigate the user
  8. 3. Doubt suspicious profiles

This is 'the love scam'

The so-called 'love scam' or 'romance scam' is one of the least known techniques by users. It is a criminal practice very different from what we are used to.

In this case, the scammers try to capture the attention of the victims by establishing an affective bond. Once they gain their trust, cybercriminals invent a compelling reason to ask the victim for money.

Photo of a person using a mobile phone.

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The phases of this scam that worries Spain

'The love scam' is a fraud that cybercriminals carry out through social networks. The strategy, divided into two parts, always follows the same mechanics.

1. First phase: the first contact

The first phase is to create a fake profile. The idea is to invent a user with the appropriate characteristics to attract attention, but without raising suspicions.

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Once created, cybercriminals use the fake profile to start a conversation with the victim. This is a long-term operation, as the scammer must gain the trust of the user before starting the second phase.

2. Second phase: the robbery

The moment a strong bond is generated between both parties, the fraudster takes action. The cybercriminal invents any excuse to ask for a large financial amount. They are usually compelling reasons, which put the victim between a rock and a hard place.

"Leaving a country that is at war, retention of belongings at customs to remove them or arranging the documentation to visit the victim" are some examples presented by José Díaz, national police.



According to the technological crime expert, the first requests are not usually very large amounts. However, there are cases in which transfers of almost one million euros have been made, leaving the victims ruined.

Behind these operations there is usually a group of professionals who are in charge of executing the plan. "Some are dedicated to studying and capturing the victim, others are dedicated to receiving the money obtained through bank accounts or 'WeTransfer', and the rest are dedicated to chatting with hundreds of people," says the police officer.

Recommendations to avoid falling into the 'love scam'

The National Police has released a series of recommendations that can be followed to avoid falling into the 'love scam'.

1. Restrict profile

To increase the security of your account, the police recommend putting the profile in 'private' mode or restricting some features. This way, not all users will have access to your personal information and it will be more difficult for scammers to initiate contact.

2. Investigate the user

When a stranger contacts you through any platform, it is best to do some research. You can look at your user profile and expand the information using the Google search engine.

3. Doubt suspicious profiles

Allow yourself to doubt the users you consider suspicious. Although the profiles of scammers are increasingly real, there are some aspects that can help you detect if a user is fake. You only have to look at the followers, the photos and the way of writing.

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