ESET: Swindle Season


ESET faced the task of elevating public awareness about the escalating threat of romance scams, particularly in the context of increased dating app usage during the summer. The campaign’s objective was to expose the cunning tactics of these scams, educate the public about their psychological impact, and provide strategies for prevention and recovery.


ESET’s comprehensive campaign combined in-depth research with impactful storytelling. Key actions included:

  • In-depth Data Analysis: ESET conducted detailed research into romance scams, revealing alarming statistics. Key findings included that 40% of all romance scams occur during the summer, coinciding with a 59% increase in dating app usage. This data highlighted the seasonality of these scams and the heightened risk during summer months.
  • Expert and Victim Interviews: The campaign featured personal stories from victims and insights from cybersecurity expert Jake Moore. This approach provided a human face to the data, making the campaign more relatable and persuasive.
  • Media Outreach: ESET implemented a strategic media outreach program, engaging with various broadcast and online platforms to maximize coverage and audience reach.


The campaign’s reach and impact were significant:

  • Extensive Media Coverage: ESET’s message was broadcasted through 298 media opportunities, ensuring widespread dissemination of the campaign’s key messages.
  • Impressive Reach: With a total reach exceeding 69 million, the campaign successfully penetrated a vast audience, raising considerable awareness about the issue.
  • Diverse Media Engagement: Coverage spanned from local TV and radio stations to national networks, ensuring the message resonated with diverse demographics.

Data Insights and Story Highlights:

  • Alarming Statistics: The campaign illuminated the fact that 37% of UK singletons had fallen victim to romance scams, with a substantial proportion suffering financial and emotional exploitation.
  • Personal Narratives: Stories from victims like Rachel, who suffered significant financial and emotional loss, emphasized the personal impact of these scams, adding depth and empathy to the campaign.
  • Expert Perspectives: Jake Moore’s insights into the psychological tactics used by scammers, including the manipulation of trust and emotional deception, provided a professional viewpoint that complemented the personal stories.