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Fraud Is in the Air, iovation Finds Increase in Online Dating AbusesHeading Into Valentine's Day, iovation Helps Dating Sites Protect Their Brand and Communities (February 09, 2012)
PORTLAND, OR -- (Marketwire) -- 02/09/12 -- iovation, the Device Reputation Authority protecting online businesses from fraud and abuse, today announced it has seen a significant spike in online dating site fraud in the past 12 months. Using its patented ReputationManager 360 solution to identify computers, mobile phones and tablets used to commit fraud, iovation found that 3.8 percent of the total transactions it processed for online dating sites in 2011 were fraudulent -- more than a 150 percent increase over the 1.4 percent in 2010 and 1.5 percent in 2009. To date, iovation has stopped almost 60 million fraud attempts on dating websites.
"Cybercriminals are constantly looking for that common interest to capitalize on and in this case it's love," said Molly O'Hearn, Vice President of Operations at iovation. "As we head into Valentine's Day, people should be wary of any sort of interaction that seems a little off. Just like in the face-to-face world, if something seems too good to be true it probably is."
Fraud and abuse on online dating websites comes in a variety of flavors. Some of the most common scenarios include:
- Credit Card Fraud - Customer uses a fake or stolen credit card to create multiple accounts to scam users.
- Spamming - User is caught sending unsolicited bulk messages via emails, postings, instant messages, etc. to promote other products, websites or companies.
- Scams and Solicitations - User takes advantage of the community to promote nonexistent services and products, or to solicit services from legitimate members.
- Identity Mining - User makes any attempt to illegitimately acquire personal information from other users through means of phishing, keystroke logging, creating fake business websites, and other methods.
- Profile Misrepresentation - User posts inaccurate information in profile and/or uses bogus profile photos.
- Harassment / Bullying - User abuses or harasses another customer with undesirable language, threats, or unwanted advances.
- Chat Abuse - User is caught harassing other users through community chat.
"While a majority of people on dating sites are looking for that perfect someone, there are others who prey on those looking for love," said Mark Brooks, advisor to some of the world's top dating and social networking sites. "But those bad actors can cause millions of dollars in lost revenue and damaged reputation to online dating sites, not to mention a loss of innocence for its users. It is imperative to harness the latest technology from companies like iovation to ensure that damage never reaches a site and its customers."
iovation's dating clients share fraud intelligence with each other, and with businesses in other industries. This ability, unique to iovation's service, makes it possible to proactively identify devices that are associated with abuse before the bad actors can strike. In addition, iovation's device-to-account associations help online sites quickly spot groups working together to commit fraud, such as a ring running scams on innocent dating members in attempts to obtain money after building a relationship. To read how iovation is protecting online dating and social networking sites from fraud and abuse, go to http://www.iovation.com/online-communities/.
iovation protects online businesses and their end users against fraud and abuse through our industry-leading combination of shared device reputation and real-time risk evaluation. 2,000 fraud managers around the globe leverage iovation's database of Internet devices and relationships between them to determine the level of risk associated with any type of online transaction. Retail, financial services, social network, gaming and other companies make real-time queries to iovation's knowledge base of 800 million devices from every country in the world. Every day, iovation stops over 150,000 fraud attempts. For more information, visit www.iovation.com.
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