And if you replace “collect an inheritance” with “find true love,” they’re an increasing menace for dating apps and services. But they are an increasingly important front for criminals, who in turn use increasingly sophisticated methods to snare their marks, and take them for whatever they can.
A recently released list, by a fraud-busting company called Scamalytics, of the top lines and photos used in profiles by online dating grifters shows that while the range of sophistication may vary, the end goal is always the same: To fleece romance-seekers out of their money.
“But the operator of the bot is collecting payments for generating downloads, without ever having to interact with the user themselves.”If someone’s going to fall for a fake profile, that’s about as innocuous a result as one can hope for.
The dating scam package is assembled for and marketed to Russian-speaking hackers, with hundreds of email templates written in English and a variety of European languages.
Many of the sample emails read a bit like Mad Libs or choose-your-own-adventure texts, featuring decision templates that include advice for ultimately tricking the mark into wiring money to the scammer.
“And their targets genuinely fall in love with those individuals, even after the scam has been executed…
The victim isn’t willing to accept that they’ve been scammed, or does accept that they’ve been scammed and is still in love with the scammer.”There are a few ways to protect yourself from online dating scammers, most of which are common-sense tests of whether they are who—and where—they say they are.
An exotic stranger needs help, and you’re the only one able to provide it.
On any given day, a handful of those pleas still file into your email’s spam folder.The same rule of thumb with email scams applies to online love, though; if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Virtually every aspect of cybercrime has been made into a service or plug-and-play product.Geographical mismatches are also bad signs, such as someone claiming to be in Brooklyn when their IP address points to the other side of the planet.Scamalytics also keeps track of the most popular pick-up lines used by online dating scammers.The romance scam package is designed for fraudsters who prey on lonely men via dating Web sites and small spam campaigns.