performs a broader sweep of services for usernames only, immediately flagging services where a particular username has been registered.
Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, apps or social media by pretending to be prospective companions.
They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details.
Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact.
They have even been known to telephone their victims as a first introduction.
A few years ago, image recognition on a large scale was restricted to law enforcement and corporate security. Free services like Tineye and Google Images will search billions of indexed images on the internet for identical or similar pictures.
This isn’t necessarily traditional hash or metadata specific – cropping or resizing an image is not a foolproof way to defeat this (as I show in the screenshot below, where Tineye and Google correctly identified my profile selfie which is substantially cropped on social media).
The photos are visually similar enough that the search engines’ algorithms can draw a connection.
Aliases and usernames have become a big part of our personal online presence, and we often feel tied to them when we register for new sites and services.
This can be a great was to build an online identity, but it can also make it trivial to tie our activity on various services together.