Mossad warns Israelis: Beware the Iranian honey trap

The Iranian agents behind the fake profiles reportedly attempted to arrange both romantic and business meetings with unwitting Israelis.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Israeli security officials are warning that Iranian agents posing as attractive women on social media are trying to lure Israelis into traveling abroad, where they could become the victims of kidnap or worse.

According to a joint statement released on Monday from security agencies the Shin Bet and the Mossad, Iranian agents have created fake social media profiles depicting young women, who present themselves as working in tourism and other industries.

“These profiles made contacts with Israeli civilians, coordinated meetings with them abroad and attempted to draw them into romantic or commercial meetings,” the statement said.

The Iranian agents behind the fake profiles reportedly attempted to arrange both romantic and business meetings with unwitting Israelis in Gulf and Arab countries, Turkey, and various African and European nations.

“There is genuine concern that such activity by Iranian operatives could lead to attempts to harm or abduct Israelis in those countries in which Iranian [agents] are active,” the agencies warned.

The statement said that the honeypot scam targeting Israeli businessmen is not the first time the Iranian regime has used fake social media profiles to lure unsuspecting people. A similar method was used to persuade Iranian dissidents living abroad to return to Iran, the security agencies said.

Israelis who are working to develop legitimate business contacts in foreign countries should “be alert and aware regarding social media contacts from unknown profiles.” In light of the risks, the agencies recommended that Israelis ignore friend requests and messages from strangers.

Kylie Moore Gilbert, an Australian-British academic held in Iran on false charges of spying, said in a letter smuggled out from Evin Prison that the regime attempted to use her as bait to lure her Israeli husband into the Islamic Republic.

“The Revolutionary Guard have imprisoned me in these terrible conditions for over nine months in order to extort me both personally and my government,” she wrote in late 2019.

“They have also attempted to use me as a hostage in a diabolical plot to lure my husband, an Australian permanent resident into joining me in an Iranian prison.”