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Recently, I had a chance to review a package of dating scam emails, 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 email templates written in English and a variety of European languages.
) and the sexy-and-I-know-it poses (we're looking at you, Androgynous Mermaid), these pictures are undeniably amazing.
Check out the rest of the mind-blowing profile pics via Imgur below, and just try not to fall in love at least once.
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 respond to emails from the targets with content-specific replies.
The romance scam package urges customers to send at least a dozen emails 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.
“When you get down to the final stage, there has to be a crisis, some compelling reason why the target should you send the money,” said Holden, founder of Hold Security [full disclosure: Yours Truly is an uncompensated adviser to Holden’s company].
Many of the sample emails 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 designed for fraudsters who prey on lonely men via dating Web sites and small spam campaigns.
“Usually this is something like the girl is stranded at the airport or needs money to get a travel visa.
There has to be some kind of distress situation for this person to be duped into wiring money, which can be anywhere between 0 and ,000 on average.” Crooked call centers like the one pictured in the screen shot above employ male and female con artists who speak a variety of languages.
“Working with dozens of possible outcomes, they carefully lay out every possible response, including dealing with broke guys who fell in love online,” said Alex Holden, the security expert who intercepted the romance scam package.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating