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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.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.“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.“If the mark doesn’t have money, the package contains advice for getting him credit, telling the customer to restate his love and discuss credit options.” Interestingly, although Russia is considered by many to be among the most hostile countries toward homosexuals, the makers of this dating scam package also include advice and templates for targeting gay men.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.
That includes dating scams — among the oldest and most common of online swindles.
When the call center employees are not being hired to close the deal on a romance scam, very often they are used to assist in bank account takeovers, redirecting packages with shipping companies, or handling fraudulent new credit applications that require phone verification.
Another reason that call centers aren’t used earlier in romance scams: Hiring one is expensive.
“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.
The dating scam package advises customers to stick to a tried-and-true approach.