Unknowing military members that honorably serve were being hijacked from their social media outlets—primarily Facebook. Open or Public Facebook profiles and photos are serving as excellent resources for scammers to harvest a bounty of useful information. Photos with their military uniforms and nametags and family pictures are stolen and dating accounts created that left no reason for anyone to believe that these guys and gals were not legit. Even the casual correspondence and messaging taking place was grammatically correct with little error, which would normally garner some suspicion of a scam and set the red flag warning.
Personal photos stolen from social media continue to be exchanged between the target and scammer, creating the trust and bond between the two and tugging at whatever vulnerable heart strings they could. In some cases, the scammers are even setting up bogus Facebook accounts with pictures in order to legitimize their existence and place the target at ease. In some cases, the scammer was even willing to send a photo of themselves holding a sign displaying anything that the target wanted—and as you mentioned in your article the wonders of Photoshop kick into gear and provides more non-repudiation to the target.
And now you know what comes next…the final stage. The criminal call center initiates the long-awaited phone correspondence in perfect English from a caller ID block to the target in order to solidify the hopeful relationship and eventual meeting place.
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However, there is a catch. The scammer conveniently has all the wire transfer information handy for the target and says they are standing by to verify the transfer and, of course, never to be heard from again. This type of scam has yielded great successes because there are numerous dating sites that cater specifically to members of the military. While validating them, I saw nothing that stopped anyone from registering an account or verified that one was serving in the armed forces.
I registered an account for myself to take a test drive, and I immediately received two winks and chat requests by a female Army Colonel who claimed to be a Pediatrician in Afghanistan and another from a beautiful Army Staff Sargent in Germany—both divorced with an 11 year old son. Wow, what are the chances of that happening within an hour of registering!!?? Bottom line is that the bad guys are stepping up their game, and the ease of masquerading an identity from a social media outlet has proven to be financially lucrative for the underground. Thank you for posting this here.
I have been digging in to the online dating scams for several months now.
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I think an infosec blog is a perfectly appropriate place for the topic. I have been surprised by a couple of things: For those with a strong focus on online security, it is second nature.
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The desire to be with someone is strong. All the big headline takes are someone lonely, and the scammer takes advantage of that vulnerability. Every dating site has this going on, both male and female targets. Bringing the whole discussion back to the topic of security: Websites have some anti-automation in place to prevent scammers scripting account actions, but when those sites also create a mobile app, there is an entirely new attack surface for doing this sort of thing.
We all know that most mobile applications especially true for mobile apps that mirror website functionality are essentially just a browser wrapped in a native app using common http and network traffic to talk to the same web servers as the full website. Those apps almost never have anywhere near the same kine of anti-automation protections that websites have. There should be a fire alarm siren that goes off at decibels in peoples heads whenever money of any amount, for whatever reason, is requested from an absolute stranger on the internet. The only thing worse than to be lonely and looking for love is to be lonely, looking for love and and out thousands on some scam.
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By the time the scammers are ready to risk money on using the call center, they know they have set the hook and are ready to reel them in. The target of the scam may already be putting down deposits on a reception hall and caterer for the wedding by this time. There have been numerous studies of how con artists work and how their victims react. When you delve into legitimate social engineering, you often find that those who proclaim that they would detect such a scam the loudest are frequently the ones who fall for them the hardest. Do the package providers back up their effectiveness claims with money back guarantees?
We can only hope that at least some of these players get played. There seems to be a weird suspension of logic with certain people once they log on to those sites. Good example is Craigslist w4m is only robots bots , Russian Ukraine economic should be good if we see how much money been wired to there lol. There were dating bots with similar strategies that were used since the IRC era. Nowadays, i get a lot of such bots on Skype and even Telegram. The solution in this case is to inform the general public, as it seems they are still dreaming of Russian mail-ordered brides.
Rather the opposite. And most hbtq ppl in less hbtq-phobic places know this and can to some degree relate , especially if they are, say, above 40 yo and thus have their own personal experiences of a less acceping climate. And sadly enough also making it harder for those who genuinly need help to flee. The programs I have seen have been about older women being scammed, sometimes out of millions of dollars.
Both men were shocked that their photos were being used in a scam. The scams I saw were out of Nigeria. I nice your profile very much. If you lovely my photo, I wait for your answer. I think you know its country of long winter-tide and snow but our country is also famous for welcome.
Please talk me about yourself: What kind of bi-monthly, canto do you like? I waiting for your rejoin so much. It will be interesting to see how these scam packages evolve as AI becomes more available and open source. This could be a good business opportunity for investigators who can verify the person writing by going and seeing them and getting identification. It should be a quick and profitable business since most will hand out non-existing addresses. Not sure whether he ever sent her money, but he ended up in jail for trafficking drugs.
I see the results of online dating scams on a regular basis, usually causing the victims both genders a lot a heartburn and heartache. I have to give the bad guys their props; they are excellent amateur psychologists. When it got down to fact-driven source like Kerbs, it could be a good idea to present validated facts even for non-security related information.
One of hundreds of sample template files in the dating scam package. The login page for a criminal call center. Jonathan Jaffe. January 4, at Jonathan NC3mobi http: January 4, at 4: Mike B. January 6, at 8: January 6, at January 13, at 3: Fernando Ardenghi. January 4, at 1: Larry McP. January 4, at 2: January 4, at 3: What are the good websites?
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Darth Vader. January 4, at 8: Luke Skywalker. January 4, at 9: January 4, at 5: Princess Leia. No wonder no one wants you! Best you try for one of these Russian brides. We could go on, but most importantly LadaDate is responsible for more than relationships — and counting.
Launched in July , Russian Flirting may have the word flirting in its name, but here you can also find dates and even love. With more than 1.
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Once you sign up which is free to do , your profile could be featured in the Last Registered section, getting you even more attention. Russian Admire gives singles three reasons why they should join the site: Romance Compass will point your love life in the right direction. Founded in , the platform works as do most other dating sites, but perhaps the biggest difference is the expert information provided on the homepage.
The team gives you insights into Eastern-European women e. These include video clips, so you can get to know the person a little before you reach out, as well as video chat, so you can take your conversations to the next level. Thousands of singles have signed up for Privet VIP, and new people are creating profiles every day.
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All of the profiles on the site are checked by the team to keep scammers at bay, and the team takes user feedback to heart — adjusting the sign-up, matching, and messaging processes to ensure everything is up to par. We got married Nov. For those who want to meet the Aleksandr to their Carrie or vice versa, the 15 dating sites in this article are a good place to start. Or good luck! As the editor-in-chief of DatingAdvice.
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