Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Online dating - Scamming? Still?

Several years ago I contributed to exposing the machinations of online scammers who prey on single men. The basic idea is that you get an online contact. Typically an attractive woman, single, young. You follow it up and before you can type her e-mail address she has fallen madly in love with you and has booked a flight to come and see you. But oops she needs some money for the ticket. And so it goes. The ones that I dealt with were Russian.
To be honest it was a bit nerve racking taking on the Russian backers of these scams. You didn't know how long there reach was. Maybe they had associates in Oz, maybe they could reach out and give you a hard time.
I have recently been approached again. So I thought "what the hell, let's do it all over again". Below is the first approach from Catwoman (name has been changed in case she is genuine...."
First and foremost, you have a very wonderful name and that's what attracted me to you....My name is Catwoman and am 27, i work as a sales assistant.. i live with my mom in the UK.I was born in Denver Colorado In US but we relocated due to the demise of my father who died when i was only 3 years old. My mom was very unhappy and we really had to move out to make and put our lives back on track so we moved here from the us when i was 10. i studied in the university of plymouth and i just graduated. Am a God fearing person, loving, kind, jovial, hard-working, respectful, caring, honest, loyal and trustworthy person. I have dated lots of guys and they have all broken my heart and am trying to follow a friend's advice now to try internet dating and see what would happen. Maybe i could find true love. I really hope to hear from you soon. Catwoman.
Lets have a quick look at her approach.
Firstly she grew up in UK but refers to "mom". This is an American spelling. Possibly explainable by her heritage, but the first hint of not being genuine.
Item 2, she is in UK and conversing with someone in Oz to find true love.
Come on be real!
Thirdly she is young and female, the photo that she provided shows an attractive woman, what the American Cop Shows refer to as "Latino" and she is blowing a kiss.
Hell the only way that I could not be attracted is if my heart has stopped beating.
Mmm not yet.
Next pointer, she likes my name. Well there is a first I have an interesting time. The one and only time in 40 plus years.
Finally a fair bit of pathos to pull at the heart strings, broken home, loves her mother, god fearing. She has dated lots of men, obviously the wrong type as they have broken her heart. The message is that she is vulnerable. It is so obvious that she needs a strong man or alternately is open to advances from a predator.
So the contact was via MySpace, I have invited her to be a friend. Stay tuned for the next instalment.