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“But the operator of the bot is collecting payments for generating downloads, without ever having to interact with the user themselves.”If someone’s going to fall for a fake profile, that’s about as innocuous a result as one can hope for.The bigger danger comes from human interaction, where, as in those familiar scam email exchanges, the person behind the profile doesn’t want your heart; they just want your money. While the UK’s favored scammer line sounds ridiculous, the top spot in the US goes to “i am very easy going and laid back.” Okay, so it’s no Pablo Neruda.But most people wouldn’t blink if they saw it in a real person’s profile.Likewise, scammers use current events to provide cover stories that explain why they’re in, say, Nigeria.That’s not to say they’re the most effective; many, in fact, perform grammatical acrobatics that barely qualify as English.It turns out that all those people parsing dating profiles for grammar above all else are protecting themselves not just from bad dates, but from bad actors.The pick-up line "I am not interested in games or drama" cracks the top 20, which sounds legitimate enough, but so does "having past events shape your life is one thing carrying the past as a burden that sits heavily upon your shoulders is not the way i view life."There are millions of scam online dating accounts created each month, says Scamalytics co-founder Dan Winchester.His company, which he founded in 2011, detects up to 250,000 per month, and was born out of a healthy combination of necessity and self-interest. The increase in online dating scammers, he says, has grown in step with the popularity of the sites and apps themselves.“As with all dating services, there came a point that it hit the radar of the scammers, and it suddenly became overrun.
Love is in the air and it’s apparent online, where an increasing number of singles find their next date virtually.
If one bot network pushes out the same garbled phrase to millions of profiles, it can quickly skew the pick-up line popularity contest.
These bots aren’t necessarily looking for love, or even for a direct cash transfer; they’re often simply trying to convince their marks to install something, like an app, in a case of direct marketing gone gross.“In some ways the target isn’t really the victim of anything other than having their time wasted, and installing a game that they don’t necessarily want,” says Winchester of these bot-based shakedowns.
Fake photos are usually a giveaway; when in doubt, do a reverse Google image search.
If it turns out to be a model, or really anyone other than who the profile says it is, that's a scammer.