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An exotic stranger needs help, and you’re the only one able to provide it.On any given day, a handful of those pleas still file into your email’s spam folder.“And their targets genuinely fall in love with those individuals, even after the scam has been executed…The victim isn’t willing to accept that they’ve been scammed, or does accept that they’ve been scammed and is still in love with the scammer.”There are a few ways to protect yourself from online dating scammers, most of which are common-sense tests of whether they are who—and where—they say they are.Geographical mismatches are also bad signs, such as someone claiming to be in Brooklyn when their IP address points to the other side of the planet.Scamalytics also keeps track of the most popular pick-up lines used by online dating scammers.



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.

“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.