The bigger danger comes from human interaction, where, as in those familiar scam email exchanges, the person behind the profile doesn’t want your heart; they just want your money. While the UK’s favored scammer line sounds ridiculous, the top spot in the US goes to “i am very easy going and laid back.” Okay, so it’s no Pablo Neruda.
But most people wouldn’t blink if they saw it in a real person’s profile.
If an online stranger makes an offer that seems to good to be true…
An exotic stranger needs help, and you’re the only one able to provide it.
The emergence of dating sites boasting memberships in the tens (or hundreds) of millions has seen a corresponding influx of countless small-time opportunistic scumbags – the lowest form of cyber criminal. If supermodels/movie-star hunks fail to fall at your feet in the real world, it is perhaps wise to ask yourself why the online world should be any different. If a criminally attractive person says hi, falls in love with you almost immediately (for no particular reason), then promises to come to you… Basically, a very attractive person has suddenly fallen for you for some reason… At the last minute there will be a couple of minor issues at their end, and your new lover/fiance will need just a bit of financial help to cover the cost of their plane ticket.
Luckily, most of these idiots are just that – transparent as glass and subtle as wrecking balls, seemingly working from from the same tired scammer’s playbook written about five minutes after the invention of the internet. there is a 100% chance that this person is a scammer. Don’t ever, for any reason, indulge anyone on a social network/dating site who mentions money. Of course, if you require further proof, check their profile.
Be especially wary of anyone claiming to be on a peacekeeping mission in the Middle East or North Africa.
That’s not to say they’re the most effective; many, in fact, perform grammatical acrobatics that barely qualify as English.
If they claim to be from USA or England, but make simple grammatical errors, this is a scammer (many people have difficulty with spelling, but nobody mistakes the basic grammar of their native language. Take two minutes to Google search their (fake) location, and ask them a few questions about it. This is quite easy and there are many websites explaining how.
The scammer will usually be completely clueless, having done precisely zero research on where they are pretending to be. A one-minute reverse image search revealed that “Kathy” is actually the famous Mexican sports reporter Jimena Sanchez, sometimes referred to as the Mexican Kim Kardashian.
These bots aren’t necessarily looking for love, or even for a direct cash transfer; they’re often simply trying to convince their marks to install something, like an app, in a case of direct marketing gone gross.“In some ways the target isn’t really the victim of anything other than having their time wasted, and installing a game that they don’t necessarily want,” says Winchester of these bot-based shakedowns.
“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.