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And if you replace “collect an inheritance” with “find true love,” they’re an increasing menace for dating apps and services. But they are an increasingly important front for criminals, who in turn use increasingly sophisticated methods to snare their marks, and take them for whatever they can.A recently released list, by a fraud-busting company called Scamalytics, of the top lines and photos used in profiles by online dating grifters shows that while the range of sophistication may vary, the end goal is always the same: To fleece romance-seekers out of their money.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.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.By then, Morrison knew she was dealing with a scammer."The story was getting more and more bizarre," she says.
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.
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.