We get a lot of visitors who are looking to learn how to identify and recognize an online dating site scammer, and so we thought we’d tell you about this current Internet dating site scam. It’s a riff on a “friend of a friend” scam, in which a person of your same sex contacts you to tell you about their “friend” who is desperately interested in meeting you.
Here is a real example:
My friend Scott who isn’t into internet dating came across your profile through my account Last night and he’s been all over me about getting in touch with you, he said you seem like a woman whom has found balance in all ramifications of life which is a hard thing to come by these days. He’s 6’1 tall, 58 years old, a good listener, Good Looking and all rounded a complete gentleman, I did not tell him I was gonna contact you, but thought I took a chance, you never know until you try, it might be worth it in the end. He lives in the same area as you. So take a chance and e-mail him, he’ll share a picture and more information with you, his direct e-mail is: scot830p/ at/ gmail/com, Hope you can decode that lol as the site wouldn’t let it go through directly.
Now, there are several things in the above scam that reveal that it is, well, a scam, but the most obvious one is the request that you contact them directly by email, with an obfuscated email address (in this example “scot830p/ at/ gmail/com”).
Another telltale sign is the poor grammar, poor punctuation, and odd use of capital letters.
This scam relies on a bit of social engineering – the idea that maybe you will be a little more likely to trust a woman who tells you about their great ‘friend’ than you will be to trust a guy who comes on to you. (Or, for men, vice versa.)
As with so many other things on the Internet, it’s really important to trust your spidey-sense, even if you can’t put your finger on why you think something is amiss. For example, if you skimmed the above email, you’d probably get a sense that something was not quite right about it, even if you didn’t take the time to realize that, in addition to it’s just being an odd thing to receive, the language and capitalization, etc., were off.
If you are still in doubt as to whether or not it’s a scam, just grab a bit of the text of the email, and paste it into Google or your favourite search engine. Odds are very good that you’ll see the exact same text come up in several results.
Basically, if you are at best ambivalent about a message you receive, even if you can’t quite put your finger on why at first read, don’t respond. Fortunately, at least until the scammers brush up on their English language skills (the vast majority of these scammers are from overseas), it is still relatively easy to identify an online dating scammer, at least if you take the time to really read any message you receive on an online dating site before replying.
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