Threat Management

FTC warns about LGBTQ+ dating app extortion scams

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has issued a warning about the growing prevalence of online extortion in LGBTQ+ dating apps Grindr and Feeld, according to The Register. Threat actors could send explicit photos from a stranger to their targets, who would then be asked to send similar photos. Payments will then be sought by the attackers who will threaten to share the shared photos with the victims' family, friends, or employer, according to the FTC. The FTC added that other scammers have been pressuring victims to pay in order to not be outed. "Scammers often like to impersonate familiar people, organizations, and companies that we know and trust. For the LGBTQ+ community, that can include 'safe spaces' where people can freely live their lives," said the FTC, which called on individuals to refrain from oversharing on dating apps to avoid being targeted in extortion schemes. Pride Month threats have been reported by anti-phishing firm SlashNext, with CEO Patrick Harr saying that most involved scams for Pride event streaming. "Given that Pride Month continues to grow in popularity and this year in-person events are back, seeing growth in phishing correlates as opportunities for cybercriminals," Harr added.

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