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And if you replace “collect an inheritance” with “find true love,” they’re an increasing menace for dating apps and services. But they are an increasingly important front for criminals, who in turn use increasingly sophisticated methods to snare their marks, and take them for whatever they can.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.Unfortunately, scammers post fake profiles and pictures on these same sites in hopes of finding deep pockets.If you’ve fallen victim to a romance scammer, here are some ways to start regaining control of your financial life.“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.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.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.Quantity of text isn’t a great indicator, says Winchester, in part because of the growing popularity of bots.
On any given day, a handful of those pleas still file into your email’s spam folder.“And their targets genuinely fall in love with those individuals, even after the scam has been executed…The victim isn’t willing to accept that they’ve been scammed, or does accept that they’ve been scammed and is still in love with the scammer.”There are a few ways to protect yourself from online dating scammers, most of which are common-sense tests of whether they are who—and where—they say they are.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.Scamalytics also keeps track of the most popular pick-up lines used by online dating scammers.
The same rule of thumb with email scams applies to online love, though; if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.