And you thought all you had to worry about was people who post photos from 10 years and 40 pounds ago.
Besides liars, sexual predators, pedophiles and other types polluting the online dating waters, there also are scammers and spammers–and they're on the rise.
The Portland, Ore.-based company–whose software identifies computers, mobile phones and tablets used to commit fraud–said that 3.8 percent of the total transactions it processed for online dating sites in 2011 were fraudulent. That's compared to 1.4 percent in 2010 and 1.5 percent in 2009.
"Cybercriminals are constantly looking for that common interest to capitalize on and in this case it's love," said Molly O'Hearn, Iovation's vice president of operations. "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."
On the online-dating website fraud menu (which is neither prix fixe nor only available on Valentine's Day): gaining the trust of digital daters to commit credit card fraud, plus spamming, scams and solicitations, identity mining, harassment and, of course, garden variety profile misrepresentation. Iovation says to date it's stopped almost 60 million attempts on dating websites.
"While a majority of people on dating sites are looking for that perfect someone, there are others who prey on those looking for love," Mark Brooks, editor of OnlinePersonalWatch, told Iovation. "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."
Iovation's service–also used by online gaming, social networking and financial services firms–doesn't track personal information or people; it tracks computers. Iovation allows its clients to share fraud intelligence with each other and with businesses in other industries, allowing them to proactively identify devices that are associated with abuse, thus stopping shysters before they can strike.
"We stop the revolving door," Iovation CEO Greg Pierson told Social Networking Watch. Once a company has identified a problem and shut down the account, how to stop the person (or group) from simply coming back pretending to be someone else? "That's where we come in to say no, don't allow this new account to be set up because it's coming from a device that has in fact defrauded you or done something inappropriate in the past."
Iovation, founded in 2004, has been profitable since its first month of business, according to the Portland Business Journal. The company funded its own growth until 2007, when it raised a $15 million round from investors including Intel Capital and SAP Ventures.
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