Criminals are running massive dedicated phishing campaigns against online dating sites, marking an interesting – but not unusual – shift in focus from the traditional phishing targets such as banks and other financial institutions.

Heidi showed off her engagement ring while visiting Miami Beach with Liddell on Monday.

“Thank you for all the love and support.” Liddell and Northcott have been dating for over a year after meeting through a mutual friend at a party.

It is likely that the criminals who steal accounts on these sites will go on to use them to commit online dating fraud — many dating sites only allow messages to be exchanged with other users after a subscription fee has been paid; by compromising existing paid accounts, the fraudsters can reduce their traceability by avoiding the need to make payments.

Online dating fraud is often orchestrated by criminal gangs who use fake profiles to trick victims into developing long distance relationships.

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Heidi and Chuck were in the news last year when they both appeared naked in an online advertisement for Reebok.

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If a legitimate profile has been in active use for several months without cause for concern, then compromising this profile will allow the fraudster to benefit not just from the plausible appearance of the profile, but also take over several ongoing conversations.