TikTok empowers users to #BeCyberSmart with tips to prevent romance scams
TikTok, the leading destination for short-form mobile videos, in conjunction with its next phase of the #BeCyberSmart campaign, has introduced a series of tips to protect its users’ hearts and wallets from romance scams. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, TikTok is buzzing with feelings with over 640 billion views of #love.
Even during the pandemic, many are still in the pursuit of love. With the abundance of dating apps, singles are spoilt for choices when it comes to finding love at a distance. However, the cyberspace is full of scammers eager to take advantage of lonely hearts and romance scams are on the rise as it involves victims losing large sums of money.
As many have been struck by Cupid’s arrow, whether in the physical or virtual world, the best defence against fraud is awareness. Alongside working with fraud awareness champions such as About-Fraud, Wiser – Free Security Training, and Frank on Fraud, TikTok has also spoken to creators to help shine a spotlight on the cruel intentions of so-called suitors that have long-plagued dating apps or other online forums.
TikTok is committed to educate its community about the dangers of cybercriminals posing as a potential love interest online. Below are some security tips to consider:
- Take it slowly. Swindlers are quick to profess their affection and take conversations off apps. They often try to draw in victims with love-filled texts, emails, or calls. A best practice is to vet your new heartthrob by asking questions and pay attention to inconsistencies that may reveal your crush as an impostor.
- Keep your funds (and personal information) to yourself. If you’ve never met in person, don’t send or exchange money via gift cards, wire transfers, or cryptocurrency, and don’t share personal details like bank account, home address, or other sensitive information.
- Don’t play games. Tools like images.google.com can help conduct a reverse image search of someone’s online profile photo. If results show the same photo on another site but with a different name attached, a scammer may have stolen it. For sweet emails or text messages that sound too good to be true, copy and paste the text into a search engine to see if others have already encountered this potential fraudster.
TikTok also encourages creators to cut off all contact immediately should something seem amiss. The app also allows creators to report suspicious activity in-app on the TikTok Safety Center.
“User safety has always been our priority. As a platform that connects people to other creators based on their interests, we are committed to promoting a safe environment for our community even when sparks fly. In efforts to keep users safe against romance scams and cyber scams, TikTok has also introduced @TikTokTips which furnishes users with information on more ways to #BeCyberSmart. We have also implemented messaging protection policies which do not allow users to send images or videos via direct messaging and constantly update our Community Guidelines, such as our latest efforts to add clarity on the types of hateful ideologies on our platform to ensure that TikTok can continue to bring people together to create, connect, and enjoy community-powered entertainment long-term,” said Darren Quek, Strategy Operations Manager, TikTok Malaysia.
Find out more about TikTok’s efforts to provide a safe and welcoming environment for users on the Safety Centre. TikTok is available for free on iOS and Android via the Apple Store, Google Play Store and Huawei AppGallery.