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Beware: Valentine’s Day Phishing Schemes on the Rise

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With Valentine’s Day approaching on Wednesday, the usage of dating websites and applications is expected to surge as lonely singles seek to make connections and find romantic partners to share the special day with. However, this year, cybercriminals are not just targeting hearts but also seeking to steal the data and photos of those seeking love.

Organizations should pay more attention to Valentine’s Day phishing schemes this year due to several reasons. Firstly, there is a growing trend of employees using corporate-owned devices for personal purposes, increasing the risk of targeted phishing attacks.

Mimecast, cybersecurity specialists, conducted a survey of over 1,000 workers globally about their work-from-home habits. The results revealed that 73% of respondents extensively use company-issued devices for personal matters, and 60% reported increased personal usage of these devices. Moreover, 78% of men and 65% of women have increased their use of company-owned devices for personal use. Alarmingly, nearly 50% of survey participants admitted to not reporting suspicious emails to their IT or security departments, leaving organizations vulnerable to serious breaches.

Furthermore, Mimecast researchers have discovered numerous spoofs of popular dating websites aiming to harvest the data of unsuspecting users and abuse their profile pictures for catfishing, sextortion, phishing, and other romance scams. These scams can lead to significant mental health issues for victims. Additionally, some of these spoofs use the recognizable brand of dating applications to deceive the public into landing on pornographic websites.

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