Virtually every aspect of cybercrime has been made into a service or plug-and-play product.That includes dating scams — among the oldest and most common of online swindles.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].Nigerian scam comes in many forms: 419 scam, when they offer to transfer millions of dollars into your bank account, or lottery scam, when they tell you that you've won something in some bogus lottery.However, Nigerian dating scam (or romance scam), besides just asking for money for their studies, sick relatives, etc..
After they establish some lovely correspondence with you, fall in love and maybe even send a couple of cheap presents, they will either: a) be almost on their way to meet you, but something will happen to them: they will get robbed, beaten, get into the hospital, or other misfortune will happen and of course you will be their only contact to ask for financial help, or: b) tell you that their employer pays them with Money Orders or checks, and they can't cash them in Nigeria.
Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact.
They have even been known to telephone their victims as a first introduction.
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.