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The applicant then enters his Social Security number and other personal and financial data, which the thief uses to open new credit and loan accounts.
Other scammers postpone their crimes until the real life meet-up.
"Some questions seem innocent, like asking what your mother's name is or what your parents do for a living.
They may ask for your home or work address to send you a gift." Such tidbits are invaluable currency for identity thieves.
More, sharing personal details is intrinsic to forming a relationship, but it also can expose you to fraud, says Paul Falzone CEO of Norwell, Mass.-based e Love, one of the world's largest brick-and-mortar dating services.
Robert Siciliano, an identity theft expert and consultant for the security company Intelius, has posted fictitious profiles on dating websites for his job and says it's never long before a potential thief is in contact and professing love. They tell me how much they miss me and think about me." Then, says Siciliano, "they are in your home, rifling through your drawers, getting your account information." Dating services efforts Of course, online dating companies strive for customer protection.
For instance, Pasadena, Calif.-based dating site e Harmony's publishes safety tips on their home page, in "5 Dating Rules You Should Never Break," including "if a potential date's actions or words set off an internal alarm system, you owe it to yourself to pay attention and act accordingly." Encounter a con?
Most need funds fast and press you to commit before thinking, Anderson says. They'll proclaim their love for you while they are taking your money." Schemes mutate with the times, and a recent one targets online daters looking for employment or better income.
A "match" claiming to be able to help directs the person to a fictitious company website.