Ireland’s LGBTQ community warned about Grindr messaging scam

11 Nov 2019595 Views

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Irish Grindr users are being warned about messages from scammers pretending to be the victim of a homophobic attack.

Eset Ireland is warning users of the popular LGBTQ dating app Grindr to be wary of a new scam that could see victims place their credit card details in the wrong hand. Writing on the cybersecurity firm’s blog, Ciaran McHale and Urban Schrott described how the scam works.

Firstly, the victim will be messaged by someone with an attractive proposition and, within one or two messages, the scammer will ask whether they have something called an ‘LGID’. When asked what it is, the scammer will say that they were recently assaulted, with the addition of a photo of an injured face claiming it as proof.

Grindr screenshot.

Screenshot of a typical scam conversation on Grindr. Image: Eset Ireland

The scammer will then ask for proof from the victim that they are who they say they are by acquiring a specific ID from a link they provide. The victim is then taken to a website that looks legitimate on the surface, claiming it is a “lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer anti-offender screening system”.

To sign up to the service, the website claims to involve a €2 payment for processing using personal and credit card information. The site also claims that “50pc of all payments will be donated to LGBT harassment victims”.

Screenshot of the fake website that harvests credit card information with LGBTQ flag in the background.

Website claiming to provide LGBTQ screening service. Image: Eset Ireland

Once the payment information is submitted, Eset Ireland said that €50 is immediately charged to the victim’s card, with the likelihood that further charges may come as a result of blackmail by the scammer.

“ESET Ireland advises extra caution when contacts on social media suggest following links that require filling out personal and payment details,” the authors of the post wrote.

The scam follows a recent suspected hate crime against a gay man in Dublin last month. The victim said he was lured to an assault by a fake profile on Grindr, where he waited outside the agreed meeting spot in his car. Four men then attacked him with weapons while calling him a number of homophobic slurs.

Colm Gorey is a senior journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

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