Be familiar with the most prevalent and predatory fraud schemes being completed on online dating services.
The web dating industry is big and profitable. Online dating service Bumble, owned by MagicLabs, is valued at $3 billion and Match Group, which owns sites like Tinder, Hinge, and Match.com, reported $1.7 billion in revenue in 2018. Love is a big business.
But also for me, personally, internet dating is no joke. Every year, a large number of folks are catfished online and normally it takes a toll – not only financially, but emotionally, too. A “catfish” is thought as somebody who creates a false online identity with the intent of defrauding someone, seeking revenge or commit identity theft.
As a public figure, my image and likeness have already been used in several internet dating sites and social media platforms. It could appear to be fun and games until someone gets hurt – and that’s just what happened recently.
A couple of months back, the BBC reached out if you ask me regarding their show, For Love or Money . A female, Rachel, have been scammed by a guy calling himself “Henrick Bjorn” and using my image to talk to her. He was even in a position to create a video image that appeared as if me and spoke with her on Skype numerous times. She was convinced I was the person she fell deeply in love with, which is actually infuriating. Since Rachel is in the united kingdom, and the show is filmed there too, the producers Skyped me (the true me) in therefore i could meet her, reassure her, and provide her consolation and support following this harrowing experience.
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The tricks and technology these scammers have the ability to conjure is something straight out of a spy movie! It’s disgusting the space that some individuals will proceed through to inflict pain.
I’ve been married to my beautiful wife, Tami, for 37 years and these online scammers have already been using my own pictures, some of such as my grandchildren, to mislead women and even steal their money. My sympathy is out to everyone who has been scammed because it’s more prevalent than we think.
Based on the Federal Trade Commission, internet dating scams will be the highest total reported scam – and that’s what reported . In 2016 in the U.S., $220 million dollars were stolen by these criminals and in 2018, $143 million dollars were reported lost.
These scammers will be the lowest of the reduced. They not merely hijack the photos of well-known celebrities or executives like me, however they often position themselves as having a career or title that keeps them from their victims. They state they have employment traveling overseas or are in the military. Anything to keep carefully the ruse going and prevent person-to-person contact.
After gaining their victim’s trust, they’ll position a crisis or some form of dependence on immediate cash or gift card. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) includes a handy tips sheet on the site and a good video on YouTube that explains the tactics these scoundrels use and how exactly to report it. This is often how each scammer has led victims along when they’ve used my image.
So, how as executives in the c-suite, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders, do we protect ourselves and our personal brands from these online trolls? Listed below are three actions you can take immediately if that is happening for you:
I usually report this whenever you can – to as much agencies as I could. Because this happens if you ask me across the world, this may prove challenging. But ensure you report it to your neighborhood police, to the FTC also to the website where your image was used. If you’re using one site then probably you’re on twenty more, all with different names.
As the busy executives that people are, we don’t have enough time to search the web for all the images we’ve bought out the years to observe how they’ve been used. This is why I have my pr and social media team frequently check over the internet for my image and other representations of my brand to be sure everything has been used since it was intended.
That can be done things such as a reverse image search from your own phone. I would recommend you check it out and see what arises. It’s come to the main point where we check online dating services to see if criminals are employing my image to scam others. You need to be a little paranoid to safeguard yourself. It’s not really a bad thing.
I’ve also had a chance to connect directly with several victims, women like Rachel from the BBC program, For Love or Money . The chance for me to talk about my sympathy with them, showing them I’m a genuine person and we’re both victims here. At least put a human connection there. I understand they’ve lost a whole lot. Not merely money, but they’ve been hurt.
As I talk with c-suite executives all over the world, I coach them on the need for creating and maintaining their own private brand. There’s a report by Weber Shandwick that proves my point – they estimate that 44 percent of a company’s market value could be directly from the CEO’s reputation. So, I take these attacks on my own brand seriously because they can have a primary impact on my important thing.
I also want to produce a bold statement – it really is incumbent upon the industry to accomplish better. In September, the FTC filed suit against Match Group. Among their claims against Match is that 25-30 percent of the daily sign-ups with their site are scammers. That is unacceptable. It’s time for these businesses to take what I call a “Hero Mentality” and balance the billions in profit and market cap with “Hero Intensity” and look after people. I’ve spoken compared to that at length in my own last book, The Hero Factor. It’s time for all companies – big and small, to start out looking after the cogs that produce their engines run and that’s their people. That’s how you raise your company as well as your culture. People first, the others will need care of itself.
Additionally, sites like Facebook, Instagram, Google and internet dating sites like Match, eHarmony, Tinder and others have to step up and utilize the guidelines, technology, and other methods easily available at their fingertips to make sure their customers and non-customers – the victims listed below are protected out of this harassment and abuse.
This is simply not a victimless crime. Even though no one died, it really is still a significant offense and innocent folks are getting hurt. It really is time companies intensify their game and take responsibility, demonstrate true leadership and protect their customers. Anyone using an internet dating app or a person with an online or public-facing profile has to be aware of the most prevalent and predatory fraud schemes out th