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The Geography of Online Dating Fraud

Edwards, M; Suarez-Tangil, G; Peersman, C; Stringhini, G; Rashid, A; Whitty, M; (2018) The Geography of Online Dating Fraud. In: (Proceedings) Workshop on Technology and Consumer Protection. IEEE: San Francisco, CA, USA. (In press).

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Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of online dating fraud’s geography. Working with real romance scammer dating profiles collected from both proxied and direct connections, we analyse geographic patterns in the targeting and distinct characteristics of dating fraud from different countries, revealing several strong markers indicative of particular national origins having distinctive approaches to romance scamming. We augment IP geolocation information with other evidence about the dating profiles. By analysing the resource overlap between scam profiles, we discover that up to 11% of profiles created from proxied connections could be assigned a different national origin on the basis of text or images shared with profiles from direct connections. Our methods allow for improved understanding of the origins of dating fraud, beyond only direct geolocation of IP addresses, with patterns and resource sharing revealing approximate location information which could be used to target prevention campaigns.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: The Geography of Online Dating Fraud
Event: Workshop on Technology and Consumer Protection
Location: San Francisco
Dates: 21 May 2018 - 25 May 2018
Publisher version: https://www.ieee-security.org/TC/SPW2018/ConPro/
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10045644
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