BLEEPING COMPUTER - The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns of scammers targeting the LGBTQ+ community via apps such as Grindr and Feeld. Fraudsters pose as potential romantic partners on LGBTQ+ dating apps, sending explicit photos and asking their targets to reciprocate. Victims are blackmailed to pay a ransom, usually in gift cards, under the threat of leaking the imagery. To make threats more credible scammers will state the names of exactly who they plan to contact (found online by using a phone number or social media profile) if victims don't pay up. The FTC advises LGBTQ+ dating apps users to avoid sharing explicit photos. Online dating platforms including Grindr and Feeld have also warned their users.
This warning comes after a similar one issued by the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) who has seen a massive increase in sextortion complaints since January 2021, leading to financial losses of over $8 million until the end of July. It received 16k+ sextortion complaints thru July 31, almost half of them from victims age 20-39. Victims should contact law enforcement, and file a complaint with the FBI IC3 immediately at www.ic3.gov.