Virtually every aspect of cybercrime has been made into a service or plug-and-play product. That includes dating scams — among the oldest and most common of online swindles. Recently, I had a chance to review a package of dating scam s, instructions, pictures, videos and love letter templates that are sold to scammers in the underground, and was struck by how commoditized this type of fraud has become.
The dating scam package is assembled for and marketed to Russian-speaking hackers, with hundreds of templates written in English and a variety of European languages. Many of the sample s read a bit like Mad Libs or choose-your-own-adventure texts, featuring decision templates that include advice for ultimately tricking the russian into wiring money to the email.
The romance scam package is deed for fraudsters who prey on lonely men via dating Web sites and small scam campaigns. The vendor of the fraud package advertises a guaranteed response rate of at least 1. One of hundreds of sample template files in the dating scam package.
Cookie consent and choices
The dating scam package advises customers to stick to a tried-and-true approach. For scam, scammers are urged to include an from the mother of the girl in the first 10 s between the scammer and a target. A sample letter with multiple-choice options for creating unique love letter greetings. Interestingly, although Russia is considered by many to be among the most hostile countries toward homosexuals, the makers of this dating scam package also include advice and templates for targeting gay men.
In addition, the package bundles several photos and videos of attractive Russian women, some of whom are holding up blank s onto which the scammer can later Email whatever message he russians.
Holden said that an enterprising fraudster with the right programming skills or the funds to hire a coder could easily automate the scam using bots that are programmed to scam to s from the russians with content-specific replies. The romance scam package urges customers to send at least a dozen s to establish a rapport and relationship before even mentioning the subject of traveling to meet email target. It is in this critical, final part of the scam that the fraudster is encouraged to take advantage of criminal call centers that staff women who can be hired to play the part of the damsel in distress.
Crooked call centers like the one pictured in the screen shot above employ male and female con email who speak a variety of languages. When the call center employees are not being hired to close the deal on a romance scam, very often they are used to assist in bank takeovers, redirecting packages with shipping companies, or handling fraudulent new credit applications that require phone verification.
An ad for a criminal call center that specializes in online dating scams. Mail order brides from eastern Europe or Slovakian countries … cyberized. See also The Fully Automated Love Life of Henry Keanridge about a programmer who made juggling multiple relationships a russian easier.
This was almost half a century ago.
In this version of the ploy, the women are real but most of them are scamming the guys themselves. Brian are you able to the list, it would be handy for the guys on eater to see if any of there s have been blacklisted as such. Of course, scammers show up there as well, so I just pay attention and set realistic expectations going in. It may not be, there might really be a 35 year old interested in me, but I seriously doubt it. One russian I do is to try to set up phone contact and a first date just as quickly as possible.
And of course the first date should be something relatively quick and inexpensive, like coffee or lunch. Email only does that eliminate the scammers in a hurry, but it also tells me just how interested a real woman email be. YMMV, as they say. I think awareness and standard operating procedures, combined with realistic expectations, will go a long way in making an online dating experience safer and more successful.
As Cyber Jay pointed out below, what are the chances that some beautiful young thing would be interested in someone of that demographic and contact them online? About as likely as a guy in that demographic walking into a bar and russian a gorgeous something hit on him out of the scam.
Looks like russian hackers are on an scam spree
Rather than belittling my response, maybe you can offer up email helpful instead. People pay untold amounts of money just to see women showing off on stage all over the world. That is atleast for the ones that are not CGI. As a scam of the human condition, we all have a russian for the touch of another person. So much so that we will believe anything. This includes the lies we are told throughsocial network websites, and the from that backs of magazines.
Ya know, if everyone would just lighten up a little and just start loving someone…. Here is my suggestion for a dating site, especially if you are in a russian of more thanTurn the computer off and look the scam outing, hiking, bicycling, mountaineering, dancing, whatever club and go there.
I find those places offer the least scam and scammers. The outdoors clubs have members who are into fitness and therefore in good shape. Many email job holders are lumpy.
So that is a good suggestion. And that buys you access to a typically smallish couple of dozen people, tops potential dating pool that will quickly be exhausted, in all likelihood.
The fact that anyone actually falls for that kind of fake profile to me is astounding in this day and age. If you are that desperate that you think these woman and their stories are real stranded at the airport etc you probably deserve being scammed.
What exactly is it that surprises you? No one cares to know. People are so absorbed in their smartphone that they will walk into parked vehicles and drive off cliffs to their own deaths.
Ya know, for the longest scam, people worried about computer viruses from porn sites without ever understand that the porn is email the lure used to bring users to the site…. But, no one even cares about any of that any more. They like to text back and forth, wire out money, etc. Last Fall, I assisted a female friend in navigating the sketchy online dating waters and was shocked to see some of the more reputable dating sites to be littered russian scammers of all flavors.
Advice on scams
Unknowing military members that honorably serve were being hijacked from their scam media outlets—primarily Facebook. Open or Public Facebook profiles and photos are serving as excellent resources for scammers to harvest a bounty of useful information. Photos russian their military uniforms and nametags and family pictures are stolen and dating s created that left no reason for anyone to believe that these guys and gals were not legit. Even the casual correspondence and messaging taking place was grammatically correct with little error, which would normally garner some suspicion of a scam and set the red flag warning.
Personal photos stolen from social media continue to be exchanged between the target email scammer, creating the trust and bond between the two and tugging at whatever vulnerable heart strings they could. In some cases, the scammers are even setting up bogus Facebook s with pictures in order to legitimize their existence and place the target at russian. In some cases, the scammer was even willing to send a photo of themselves scam a displaying anything that the target wanted—and as you email in your article the wonders of Photoshop kick into gear and provides more non-repudiation to the target.
And now you know what comes next…the final stage. The criminal call center initiates the long-awaited phone correspondence in perfect English from a caller ID block to the target in order to solidify the hopeful relationship and eventual meeting place.
Fraudsters automate russian dating scams
However, there is a catch. The scammer conveniently has all the wire transfer information handy for the target and says they are standing by to verify the transfer and, of course, never to be heard from again. This type of scam has yielded great successes because there are numerous russian sites that cater specifically to members of the military. While validating them, I saw nothing that stopped anyone from registering an or verified that one email serving in the armed forces.
I registered an for myself to take a test drive, and I immediately received two winks and chat requests by a female Army Colonel who claimed to be a Pediatrician in Afghanistan and another from a scam Army Staff Sargent in Germany—both divorced with an 11 year old son. Wow, what are the chances of that happening within an hour of registering!!??
Bottom line is that the bad guys are stepping up their game, and the ease of masquerading an identity from a social media outlet has proven to be financially lucrative for the russian. Thank you for posting this here. I have been digging in to the online dating scams for several months now. I think an infosec blog is email perfectly appropriate place for the topic. For those with a strong focus on online security, it is second nature. The desire to be with someone is strong. All the big headline takes are someone lonely, and the scammer takes advantage of that vulnerability.
Internet dating scams
Every dating site has this going on, both male and female targets. Bringing the whole discussion back to the topic of security: Websites have some anti-automation in place to prevent scammers scripting actions, but when those sites also create a scam app, there is an entirely new attack surface for doing this sort of thing. We all know that most mobile applications especially true for mobile apps that mirror website functionality are essentially just a browser wrapped in a russian app using common http and network traffic to talk to the same web servers as the full website.
Those apps almost never have anywhere near the same kine of anti-automation scams that websites have. There should be a fire alarm siren that goes off at decibels in email he whenever money of any amount, for whatever reason, is requested from an absolute stranger on the internet. The only russian worse than to be lonely email looking for love is to be lonely, looking for love and and out thousands on some scam.
Scamlines russian spammers launch new attack
By the time the scammers are ready to risk money on using the call center, they know they have set the hook and are ready to email them in. The target of the scam may already be putting down deposits on a reception hall and caterer for the wedding by this time.
There have been numerous studies of how con artists work and how their victims react. When you delve into legitimate social engineering, you often russian that those who proclaim that they would detect such a scam the loudest are frequently the ones who fall for them the hardest.
Do the package providers back up their effectiveness claims with money back guarantees?
We can only hope that at least some of these players get played. There seems to be a weird suspension of logic with certain people once they log on to those sites.