miiCard to conduct survey into internet dating fraud

Digital passport, miiCard, is launching a survey today aimed at users of dating sites. miiCard want to draw attention to the rapid rise in identity fraud, and are committed to increasing awareness of online safety and preventing fraud. The survey will examine how users build trust and protect themselves when meeting people online.

Online dating has quickly become one of the biggest industries on the internet. Whether you are trying to find an activity partner or someone to share your life with, a multitude of online dating sites can provide listings of people in your area.

However this rise in popularity has come at a cost: online dating sites are now a key target for organised crime, which has led to 200,000 people in the UK reporting financial fraud. A study by the universities of Leicester and Westminster, working with the Serious Organised Crime Agency, discovered that 2% of people surveyed knew of someone who had experienced fraud through an online dating scam.

Details such as surnames, anniversaries, place of work and the names of friends and family can all be used to trace identity and solicit valuable personal information, and so should be guarded at all costs. A similar degree of caution is essential with mobile phone and email account details, which should only be given out once trust has been established.

In order to prevent fraud, details such as passwords, hints and usernames should never be revealed, no matter how close you feel you are getting to someone. Similarly credit card and bank account information should never be released – this opens the door to fraudsters applying for cards and taking out loans in someone else’s name. A degree of caution is also essential when considering giving someone an address. This unlocks the offline world and could increase the possibility of homes being burgled.

As James Varga, miiCard’s CEO comments: “The news that criminals actively target online dating sites is a worrying trend for anyone using these sites on a regular basis. Security is critical, and users should be aware how to protect themselves and avoid being conned. This survey examines how users build trust and protect themselves, and will identify areas that need extra protection.”

To take part in miiCard’s survey on the issue of trust on internet dating sites please click here.

For more information contact: Sarah Lee

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