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How to detect a love scam on social networks? What’s going on?

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They are not simple stories to keep you awake. They all have in common a characteristic and a very meticulous procedure, perfected with experience. Not for nothing, points out the LISA Institute, eight out of ten social media users have experienced a love scam attempt.

“Nobody gives money for four pesetas,” says the saying that reproduces Raúl Padilla Soldier, health psychologist and marriage and sexual therapist. “If it’s too pretty, perfect and too good to be true, if it seems like an idyll, it’s a lie,” she says. He comes to point out that there is a difference between having a romantic vision of life and living in fantasies.

Although love scams appear in the headlines from time to time, they are not isolated cases. In Malaga, the National Police has dismantled a criminal network would have achieved its objectives with 90 victims and defrauded of around one million euros. 18 expert love scammers have been arrested for creating fake profiles with which to make their victims fall in love through mobile applications.

But the love cyber scams They have specific traits. In general, the main reason is that all contact is reduced to digital media and through fake accounts. Regarding the procedure, the scammer looks for a complicity relationship with his potential victim to extract from her his Bank data.

The victims They tend to be, for the most part, elderly people who are alone, without work occupation or little social life. Many of them also refuse to report the facts because they either continue to believe in the sincerity of that supposed romantic relationship, or they feel ashamed of what has happened to them. But it doesn’t just happen to those types of people. In general, says health psychologist Raúl Padilla Soldado, The core of cyber scams is “the talent of the scammer to create a need and then be able to scam”: “Every story will always be very sweetened.”

That person I had believed in disappears from the digital map. Suddenly he is no longer on Instagram, Facebook, Google Hangouts or any of the apps where they started a conversation. With trust shattered, helplessness and anxiety can invade you, in addition to a more than likely economic hole.

The Sextortion as a cyber business model

The love scam feeds on human weakness and that is why it is not unusual to find situations of sexual extortion which, precisely because of the psychological impact they entail, can make the profits of this booming cyber business skyrocket. There is a very marked imprint of sexist violence in this type of love scam. “These scammers are economic criminals who They will use any compromising information at will. that they have to achieve their objectives,” warns psychologist Padilla Soldado.

“If you don’t do what I want…”, the threats begin, “I will spread this photo,” they continue. The legal and forensic psychologist Nuria Mateos de la Calle practices in Violence against Women courts in Madrid and maintains that behind love scams is the myth of romantic love: “Many times they are extremely attractive people those who begin that contact without realizing that they are fake profiles. We tend to believe that we have found a prince charming…”. He considers that We do not know how to combine our emotional culture with digital culture, in permanent change. That is why it is crucial to “know how far you have to give” of yourself.

The growing penetration of technologies in society, the advance of artificial intelligence (AI) and the consequent increase in cyber love scams will be governed by pure “natural selection,” maintains psychologist and couples therapist Raúl Padilla Soldado, who knows that digital education will not be able to reach a similar speed: “It’s better not to believe anything. Be skeptical with digital experiences of this type.

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