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The same rule of thumb with email scams applies to online love, though; if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
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When Boko Haram kidnapped a group of school girls last spring, Winchester said, dating profile fakers would claim to be there abroad as part of a US special forces mission.
In reality, they were Nigerian con artists, hoping to be sent money to pay for a flight they would never take.“The sad reality is that the most effective scammers will tend to be the human beings who build trusting relationships over a long period of time with their targets,” says Winchester.
The most popular con-man profile text in the UK, for example is “so please i want you to get back to me here with your email address so that i can send you my pictures so get back to me thanks.” Hard to imagine swiping right on that.
Quantity of text isn’t a great indicator, says Winchester, in part because of the growing popularity of bots.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.Suddenly I had to stop doing new features and trying to acquire new users,” in order to keep up with squashing scammers.There was no dedicated screening service at that time, Winchester says. Well, he did along with an acquaintance, Nick Tsinonis, who already had expertise using machine learning to help match dating site users based not on their expressed preference, but on behavior.“And their targets genuinely fall in love with those individuals, even after the scam has been executed…