Enterprising cyber-criminals are making life easier for Russian fraudsters by selling them pre-formed packages providing everything they need to carry out online dating scams, according to Brian Krebs.
The security researcher claimed in a blog post yesterday that the plug-and-play packages include email 'love letter' templates written in English and a variety of other European languages; instructions; pictures; and videos.
“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,” he explained.
The individual selling one of the fraud packages seen by Krebs apparently guaranteed response rates of at least 1.2%, with fraudsters averaging 30 scam messages a day likely to earn around $2,000 per week.
The scam template is claimed to be more than 20% effective within three replies and over 60% effective after eight.
Several other tricks of the trade espoused by the vendor of the scam include featuring an email from the ‘girl’s’ mother in the first 10 emails—to add legitimacy to the situation. A list of excuses for not talking on the phone is apparently also included.
There’s even advice on how a target can get credit, if he doesn’t have the funds necessary to pay the scammer.
The scams are said to be mainly aimed at lonely straight men, although Krebs claimed the makers of the package also have advice for targeting gay men.
Further legitimacy is added to the dating scam by the inclusion of photos and videos of attractive Russian women—some of whom apparently hold up blank signs onto which can be Photoshopped personalized messages.
A shady call center operative can be hired towards the end of the scam to pretend to be the girl in question. She will claim to be stranded en route to the victim and requires money to buy a visa or get an onward ticket, Krebs revealed.
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