Recently, I had a chance to review a package of dating scam emails, instructions, pictures, videos and love letter templates that are sold to scammers in the underground, and was struck by how commoditized this type of fraud has become.
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.
Her emails from a Gmail account arrived every two days and at first were full of the little details of her life, like walking in the park with her friends and hanging out for pizza.
She sent dozens of pictures of her eating cake, dressed in a bathrobe, lying chastely on the bed, always dressed in white.
The dating scam package advises customers to stick to a tried-and-true approach.
For instance, scammers are urged to include an email from the mother of the girl in the first 10 emails between the scammer and a target.
She contacted Dave (not his real name) on dating site Zoosk in November last year, telling him she was a 32-year-old Russian woman eager to pursue a serious relationship.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.The romance scam package is designed for fraudsters who prey on lonely men via dating Web sites and small spam campaigns.Virtually every aspect of cybercrime has been made into a service or plug-and-play product.That includes dating scams — among the oldest and most common of online swindles.