There are variations on what the money is for, but usually it’s for a plane ticket.
In one such example, recently reported by the Register, a man using the account name of “Hot Lips” recounts his experience with a Russian dating scamstress, explaining that “After some correspondence, ‘she’, confessed that ‘she’ actually lived in Omsk, Russia.
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.
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.
“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.Hey, it doesn’t really matter, because they have no intention of ever meeting you in person anyways.It turns out that there are entire websites devoted to exposing these Russian dating scams, and Russian dating scammers, some run by sites which also offer (apparently) legitimate Russian bride agency services.In addition, the package bundles several photos and videos of attractive Russian women, some of whom are holding up blank signs onto which the scammer can later Photoshop whatever message he wants.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.