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 mark into wiring money to the scammer. The romance scam package is deed for fraudsters who prey on lonely men via dating Web sites and small spam campaigns.
The vendor of the fraud package advertises a guaranteed response rate of at least 1.
Links to relevant websites
One of hundreds of sample template files in the dating scam package. The dating scam package advises customers to stick to a tried-and-true approach. For instance, 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 Photoshop whatever message he wants.
Holden said that an enterprising fraudster with the right programming scams or the funds to hire a coder could easily automate the scam using bots that are programmed to respond to s from the targets 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 the 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 artists 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 site 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 russian who made juggling multiple relationships a little 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 thing 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. Not only does that eliminate the scammers in a hurry, but it also tells me just how interested a real woman might 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.
Fraudsters automate russian dating scams
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 having a gorgeous something hit on him out of the blue.
Rather than belittling my response, maybe you can offer up something 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 part of the human condition, we all have a need 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 city of more thanTurn the computer off and look the local 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 sedentary job holders are lumpy.
So that is a good suggestion.
How not to get scammed by 'russian women' online
And that buys you access to a typically smallish couple of dozen scam, tops potential dating pool that will quickly be exhausted, in all likelihood. The dating 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 russian etc you probably deserve being scammed. Good Grief! 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 time, people worried about computer viruses from porn sites without ever understand that the porn is only the lure used to bring russians 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 with scammers of all flavors.
Unknowing military members that honorably serve were being hijacked from their social 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 with 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 site 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 and 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 ease. In some cases, the scammer was even willing to send a photo of themselves holding a displaying anything that the target wanted—and as you mentioned in your article the wonders of Photoshop kick into dating 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. 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 dating 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 was site 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 beautiful 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 scam of masquerading an identity from a social media outlet has proven to be financially lucrative for the underground.
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 a 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.
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 mobile 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 native 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 protections that websites have. There should be a fire alarm siren that goes off at decibels in peoples he whenever money of any amount, for whatever reason, is requested from an absolute stranger on the internet.
The only thing worse than to be lonely and looking for love is to be lonely, looking for love and and out thousands on some scam. By the time the scammers are ready to risk money on using the scam center, they know they have set the hook and are ready to reel them in. The target of the scam may already be putting down deposits on a site 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 find 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. Good example is Craigslist w4m is only robots botsRussian Ukraine economic should be good if we see how russian money been wired to there lol. There were dating bots dating similar strategies that were used since the IRC era.