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 Need some help (dating site scammers)

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Elite Baiter

Joined: 08 Aug 2010
Posts: 1990
Location: Wouldn't you like to know...

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^ that seems like the easiest to execute solution to me too. You may want to do it as part of the welcome email/message instead of blasting it on your home page but at least a link there for more info would be good.


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Elite Baiter

Joined: 15 Oct 2010
Posts: 1046
Location: I'm out there, where every man wants to be

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^ It seems like almost every site has such warnings. I know one prominent dating site even places warnings on the top of every chat window. They must work to some extent, but obviously not well enough.

ETA: That site also censors keywords like "accounts" and "bank" and "password" in chats, in addition to a big warning constantly on display during chats.

What may work, though, would be to actually show people what a scam looks like. I don't think you could count on people clicking a link to see an example at ScamWarners, but it may be possible to make this part of the sign-up. A scam-warning in the style of a EULA, sort of. Make the person click through a page that describes the common scams, then a page actually showing such a scam, then let them complete the sign-up process.

ETA2: many dating sites have a sort of achievement process, where one must complete stages toward using all the features. Perhaps you could do the same, and not allow PM's to be read or sent until one has read the scamwarning and checked off that they understood it. I'm also thinking of the karma-based system at a popular programming site, which has various tiers of editing capability and other functions which cannot be accessed until some qualification has been met.

Another thing which may work is a probationary period, say half an hour hour after signup, during which any PM's are actually sent to moderators. Anyone who sends over some sane threshold (100 pms?), gets an automatic boot. Anyone else gets individually inspected for scammer behaviour using TinEye and other search methods.

Hm. Maybe you could one-up a Report Scam function by actually turning the report into educational feedback. Every time someone reports a scam and the mods take action, the scammer's name, profile, and message history are posted up in a sidebar ticker called "Latest Scams" or something.

Imagine if on login, you saw on the left sidebar something like

Latest Scams
Name: Billy Mugu
Location: Ladland
Initial message:
i am jack, I'm an Architect and a Builder,
basically into Constructions but presently on an official assignment here in Lagos Nigeria .
And I'll be back in the States in a month or two.
I travel to virtually all parts of the world due to the
nature of my job and it is really nice to come across a profile of lovely woman like are such a beautiful and attractive woman,and my instincts tells me you would be a loving and caring woman,that is why i'm motivated.i would love to know more about you because this profile thing couldn't give me the real picture of a perfect woman in you.i will give u my email which is Yahoo Messenger id is
[email protected].... i am Online Now On my Yahoo messenger,
You Can Add me On there
Peace & Love.

I DON'T. Buy the tomatoes with. The stems. On them. They don't. Degrade. They go. Down the sink. And into the WATER. Then. They get lodged in the throats of little. OTTERS.

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A Jersey housewife
419Eater is my life

Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 282
Location: Movin' through Kashmir

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:48 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I get friend requests on a weekly basis on facebook from scammers. It only takes one look at their page for me to figure it out and each time I share their information on my wall to alert all my friends. It's amazing how many had NO clue who was not real.

I would expect they would put the same type of information on a dating site that they do on their wall and it's the grammar that is the first tip off. Do you have an FAQ that you could say what to look out for? I doubt these people would read it and since they use a lot of Copy/Paste, but if a member were to see it that would clue them in.
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Master of Master Baiters

Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 902
Location: Munching vegetables and hopping around

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:28 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This is probably overly simplistic and impracticable, but if any member is reported by 3 different members for asking for money, their IP gets banned?

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X 16


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Baiting Guru

Joined: 09 Jul 2008
Posts: 3114
Location: somewhere over the rainbow

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:30 am Reply with quoteBack to top

First off, I would be curious to know what your current criteria are for determining someone is a scammer. Your example of a fake profile, that you say is 100% known to be a scammer, is interesting.

Widowed for last 9 years ,Looking for trustworthy man for dating ,hang out or just having fun ,Likes boating , camping ,dancing ,fishing ,bbqs in backyard with family and friends ,.Likes all kinds of music except rap , boggles Have 2 children 5 grandchildren large family very family oriented Likes also traveling garages sales flea markets , and music festivals"

I deal extensively with African romance scammers, and assuming this is supposed to be a woman, I can tell you with certainty that this is not a profile that would be used by African romance scammer. It could be a profile submitted by a spammer, but those are two very different things.

The female characters of romance scammers (I'm talking African, but much of this is true of vlads too) are young, usually in their twenties, sometimes early thirties. Over 35 is rare, over 40 practically unheard of. Assuming they use a photo, it will be of a highly attractive young female, most often a model or porn actress (some have learned to fake webcam footage using the porn actress's video, making them look more real). The majority claim to have never married, and have no children. A rare few claim to have a child. Their desirable mate will either have a very large age range, or they will be seeking older men. If they have a profession at all, it will usually be nursing, modeling, or some other "feminine" type of occupation. Their profiles or their first approach will often allude to having been hurt in the past, to increase that look of vulnerability. Their goal is to create a character who is young, innocent, and sexy, as those are the characteristics they can use to get money from their targets. The profile you posted doesn't match any of these characteristics--and the English mistakes are not consistent with someone from western Africa or the FSU. In short, that is not a romance lad or vlad.

Spammers, on the other hand, will try to create "average" profiles, as they aren't using the profile to romance scam--it is just a means to get in and start spamming all of the members.

In order to reduce their presence on your site, first you need to have a handle on who/what you are dealing with.

Purple FlowerEaster Egg"I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more..."
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A Jersey housewife
419Eater is my life

Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 282
Location: Movin' through Kashmir

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This is someone who wants to be my friend on facebook.

Studied at University of New Mexico Lives in Paris, France Divorced From Paris, France

This person is up to 56 friends, all male.
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Baiting Guru

Joined: 09 Jul 2008
Posts: 3114
Location: somewhere over the rainbow

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:09 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Now that^^ is a romance scammer's profile, complete with African English, and a quick search will show you lots more profiles using some of the same wording.

Purple FlowerEaster Egg"I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more..."
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A Jersey housewife
419Eater is my life

Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 282
Location: Movin' through Kashmir

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Yes, Dorothy and I reported it but FB left it up. There are actually some just like it that have men's pictures... if anyone wants the name PM me and I'll give it to you.

Oh, I have seen this profile on a dating site (except they want a woman and it's a picture of a large, white man) and trust me, it would not be someone I would reach out to and not just because I won't pay to be able to contact them. I'm a widow but not a rich one and not vulnerable. All I would say about this one is it's probably a scammer hoping to find a rich, lonely widow.

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Baiting Guru

Joined: 09 Jul 2008
Posts: 3114
Location: somewhere over the rainbow

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:23 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

As you can see from those search results, they lead to both male and female profiles. Scammers will often use the same profile text whether they are playing males or females, and simply change the name, age, sex, and photo of their character. Of course, they also frequently miss changing the sex somewhere in the profile text, so you will see a profile with a man's picture, and then in the text he suddenly refers to himself as a sensual woman, or vice-versa with a female profile. Or they will miss changing something else, and the description won't match the picture, etc. The truth is, in the social networking/online dating world, all inconsistencies are clues that should be considered.

If the person can't keep his/her own sex straight, you can be sure that the profile is not legitimate.


Just to reiterate...I raised the question as to whether the OP recognizes the difference between scam and spam profiles, because the approach is not necessarily going to be quite the same. The profile posted by the OP is not a romance scammer's female profile.

If scammer is playing a woman, age will be under 40, most likely under 35 (she will be too young to have 5 grandchildren). Scammers may mix up a lot of details, but they won't make the mistake of putting a photo of a much older woman on their profiles. I don't mean to be offensive when I say this, it's just a simple fact. Jersey posted a good example of a typical female scammer profile (there is a chance that one could turn into a camgirl--but that still makes it a scam). I could probably go through the OP's site and point out dozens of scammer profiles, no problem.

Scammers' male characters will generally be older, more often than not they do claim to have children, and they will at times use more "average" photos--so if the originally posted profile were for a male character, it might be (or might not be, I certainly wouldn't be willing to call it based on the profile alone) a scam profile. If scammer is playing a man, age will be 40-70.

Let's not let the topic drift too far off the OP's original question--how to reduce scammer presence on a social site.

So for the OP, what I am suggesting is that you look closely at these invaders, and make sure you have a handle on what you are dealing with, as it will help you to identify more effective measures.

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419Eater is my life

Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 313
Location: Reality, But it's an illusion caused by lack of alcohol

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:34 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi eater232450, Would it not be worth your while letting a few of us baiters to have a free profile, or two (one of either sex). Of course we would have to PM you our details first so you would know who we were. We could then vet certain suspicious profiles for you. I myself would be more than willing to help with this.

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New scammer species:
The Financially Challenged (Nulnumerus maninblackicum): Lad who makes up their own exchange rates. 237 euros of =1060 pounds
The Indecisive (Erraticus maninblackicum): Lad who puts differing answers down for the same questions on seperate attempts at getting their MTCN on MTCN [email protected]

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Well i just want to know if it is Sandra my girlfriend that you are having sex with now , How can you collect my money and also fucking my girlfriend what the hell on this earth have i done to you that make you to be treating me this way, No one as ever make me shed tears long time ago but you are making me to do it now what have i done to you.
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Hello I'm New here!

Joined: 06 Feb 2011
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:12 am Reply with quoteBack to top

hey guys, sorry for the late reply!! i've been extremely busy. thanks for all the suggestions!

logging ips every time they login is a great idea. i didn't know that about scammers. thanks for the info.

we've tried adding the report button, but nobody used it. most accounts have a unique ip.

i'm really curious about the difference between scammers and spammers. i guess we have a lot of spammers then too. can you elaborate a little on these guys? i mean they certainly don't send out ads to signup at other sites or anything like that. most of them don't even bother to send a message. they just sign up.

if anyone would like to help us, and yourself by getting access to these guys Smile, by checking out our site, just send me a pm.

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A Jersey housewife
419Eater is my life

Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 282
Location: Movin' through Kashmir

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:28 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

A scammer is the person who is trying to scam someone else out of something, mostly money. A Spammer is someone who sends out millions of emails to people who did not ask to receive them.

On the dating web sites, they want to prey upon women who they think are easy targets and might be wealthy. Widows seem to be their preferred target. They are very easy to spot because the pictures tend to be "professional" and are usually very good looking. The one's I've seen lately are in the army, are doctor's and one was a movie director. A cursory read through the profile gives it away as they are trying to be "perfect". Sometimes they say HE when they mean SHE, sometimes they say they have kids but then further down the page they will say they want a woman to give them a child of their own.
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Master of Master Baiters

Joined: 18 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:53 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

offering my services as a woman with a fake profile available Smile

pm sent!

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The Monsignor
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:49 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

In the UK, Global Personals Limited, which owns a number of dating site brands including Dateline, decided last year to put in place a method of combating scammers. Its staffs now read all Profiles before these are made public. Since scammers’ Profiles are often easily recognisable, this has served to prevent most from going live on the sites.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:11 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Am happy to offer my services in spotting a scammer or two as well eater232450. PM sent

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Not quite a Newb

Joined: 14 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:59 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I would suggest you speak with Rover, our site Admin. I'm not sure which tools we use here are proprietary, so I can't discuss those, but he may be able to provide some assistance in eliminating many of the junk posted on your site.


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