More precisely, my sexy new girlfriend is statistically likely to be from West Africa or Eastern Europe, and male, pretending to be an American woman, using stolen photos of famous Mexican sports reporter Jimena Sanchez.
This is of course just one of many equally simple (and usually appallingly executed) scams.
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 most popular con-man profile text in the UK, for example is “so please i want you to get back to me here with your email address so that i can send you my pictures so get back to me thanks.” Hard to imagine swiping right on that.
Be especially wary of anyone claiming to be on a peacekeeping mission in the Middle East or North Africa.
For women, be wary of profiles of men in military uniform. Be wary of anyone who contacts you and almost immediately suggests switching to a different platform, such as Whatsapp or Google Hangouts, so you can have a “better” chat. Don’t click on any links to other sites, but feel free to have a conversation (remember, they are only after your money, but can only get it if you allow them). This can provide information on peoples’ (photographs) true identities or where a photo was originally published.
If it turns out to be a model, or really anyone other than who the profile says it is, that's a scammer.
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.