Nigerian scam on dating sites
Some scam artists use bogus profiles to con the people they meet out of hundreds or thousands of dollars.Criminals who perpetrate online dating and romance scams use emotional appeals to quickly gain their victims’ trust and then, just as quickly, exploit it.Likewise, scammers use current events to provide cover stories that explain why they’re in, say, Nigeria.When Boko Haram kidnapped a group of school girls last spring, Winchester said, dating profile fakers would claim to be there abroad as part of a US special forces mission.This leaves many victims not only embarrassed but also in financial distress.It is important for online users to be on the look-out for online dating and romance scams.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.The pick-up line "I am not interested in games or drama" cracks the top 20, which sounds legitimate enough, but so does "having past events shape your life is one thing carrying the past as a burden that sits heavily upon your shoulders is not the way i view life."There are millions of scam online dating accounts created each month, says Scamalytics co-founder Dan Winchester.
But most people wouldn’t blink if they saw it in a real person’s profile.
His company, which he founded in 2011, detects up to 250,000 per month, and was born out of a healthy combination of necessity and self-interest. The increase in online dating scammers, he says, has grown in step with the popularity of the sites and apps themselves.“As with all dating services, there came a point that it hit the radar of the scammers, and it suddenly became overrun.
Suddenly I had to stop doing new features and trying to acquire new users,” in order to keep up with squashing scammers.
In reality, they were Nigerian con artists, hoping to be sent money to pay for a flight they would never take.“The sad reality is that the most effective scammers will tend to be the human beings who build trusting relationships over a long period of time with their targets,” says Winchester.
“And their targets genuinely fall in love with those individuals, even after the scam has been executed…
Quantity of text isn’t a great indicator, says Winchester, in part because of the growing popularity of bots.