That widowed Ukrainian engineer you just met on your favorite dating website? She's probably a scammer.
Scam dating profiles are more likely to say they are Catholic; from Nigeria, the Ukraine or the Philippines; widowed and have a doctoral degree—among other characteristics, according to new data compiled by the dating website SeekingArrangement.com. Romance scammers tug at the heartstrings or stroke the ego to get dating site users to send them money.
SeekingArrangement caters to a very specific type of relationship, but the lessons here should apply to other dating sites and even to other aspects of digital life, Leroy Velasquez, a SeekingArrangement spokesman, tells Popular Science. "Because of the fact that we do cater to wealthy demographic, we do get an influx of scammers," he says. But scammers act the same everywhere. "Your random spam email? It's a really crappy version of what a man or woman would get on a dating profile," he says.
SeekingArrangement got its latest stats from screening new profiles over 10 months. The profiles first go through automated screening software, which flags both traits in the profile, such as certain ethnicities, and things that aren't visible in the profile, such as certain IP addresses and even certain passwords that scammers seem to like more than other people. Then a person on staff looks through the flagged profiles and decides whom to ban, Velasquez says.
SeekingArrangement has banned 60,000 profiles in the last 10 months, or about 220 a day. Here's what they've found are the ingredients in the typical scam profile.
Scammers are mostly Catholic, or at least they say they are. Eighty-two percent of banned SeekingArrangement profiles say they're Catholic and religion was the most common trait among fraudulent accounts. Scammer talk a lot about spirituality in the messages they send, too. Velasquez thinks this helps them seem more moral and trustworthy.
Or maybe they really do identify as religious? Scammers are more likely than honest profiles to have passwords like "godisgood" or "lovinggod."
Look out for ladies
Seventy-one percent of scam profiles say they're female. (This may be specific to SeekingArrangement, where most of the wealthy "sugar daddy" users are straight men. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation says the most common romance scam target is a woman over 40.)
Sixty-three percent of scam profiles say they're widowers. "These men and women tug on your heartstrings," Velasquez says.
Thirty-seven percent of scam profiles say they have a graduate degree and 54 percent say they have doctorates.
SeekingArrangement has never found a fraudulent profile in which the person said he or she had a high school diploma and no bachelor's degree, Velasquez says.
Although American Indians make up less than 2 percent of the U.S. population, 36 percent of scam profiles say they're Native. Other popular races are mixed (19 percent) and other (17 percent). "They try to be a different race, something other than the usual, because it sounds more exotic," Velasquez says.
As a member of a race that's also exoticized… eww.
Just like spam in your email inbox, scam profiles most commonly come from Nigeria (28 percent). Other common countries of origin are the Ukraine (23 percent) and the Philippines (21 percent). Although these countries are well known for scams, scammers nevertheless will be honest in their profile about where they're located because automated screening software looks for discrepancies between stated locations and where people actually sign onto the site.
Twenty-six percent of scammers say they're engineers, 25 percent say they're royalty and 23 percent say they're self-employed. Saying they're self-employed makes them more difficult to fact-check by searching a corporate website, Velasquez says. And royalty have money they can send you, if you only give them your bank account information, while engineers may seem smart and thus trustworthy, Velasquez says.
If this helps anyone for the source of an email or junk email, right click on the mail prior to opening it, then click on properties, and then find the source IP of where the email came from.
Once you have the IP, enter it in this website or do a Google search for 'where is this 'enter ip number'.
Here is the website, below.
If they say they are in one place like Arkansas USA or and you find the email coming from China, Germany, Russia or somewhere Africa, your email source mostly like is a liar.
Enter IP number, and then click check for location.
It is quite disturbing that they know their users' passwords - that means they are storing them somewhere in plaintext. If I had an account on that site I would change the password and close it immediately.
@yosifcuervo my feelings exactly, unfortunately this is common. You hear news several times a year about a big organisation getting its accounts hacked and passwords stolen. And it gets worse, most of the time they you wont even hear about the hack, either because it was undetected or they just cover it up because they don't want the negative fallout. This is why its a good thing to have several passwords.
Wow! great tip. :)
There's an easy test. If they post a face photo, one sure way to test is to ask them to post (or email you) a photo of themselves holding up today's newspaper so the newspaper date is clearly visible. If they refuse or the face in the photo isn't the right one, or something else is wrong, they're a FAKE.
I mean, not just a newspaper closeup Photoshopped over an old image, but ONE, SINGLE and NEW PHOTO of them holding today's newspaper next to their complete and recognizable face.
up to I saw the paycheck which was of $8185, I didn't believe that my mom in-law woz like truly bringing home money part-time on their apple laptop.. there best friend had bean doing this for under twelve months and just repayed the morgage on their place and got a brand new Lotus Esprit. I went here......... <strong>fox85.com</strong>
Better yet. Don't use internet dating! Start a new hobby that involves meeting other people instead.
No one is honest on those things- women will be flooded with obscene messages from lying men. Men will find numbers not in their favour.
Women are much less likely to use those things than men... especially respectable ones... and so the few that do are going to be "available" for a reason.
Avoid the scammers- look for people in real-life.
If the goal is to meet a person, perhaps cut out the middle man of a dating sight and just go out a meet a person.
Putting yourself on a dating sight, reduces you to a commodity and in sales, it is standard to exaggerate.
Ya know, go out and just say hello to someone and make a conversation.
And just what is wrong with having a fake girlfriend on the Internet? It is the Internet! If you want "real," we would go to a bar!!!
"We Entertain When It Rains"
I don't know, we are told that a lot of people are using internet dating services these days. In some ways it's better than a sleazy, noisy, bar.
By the way, people in the country call it 'Ukraine' not 'THE Ukraine'. People in the word industry should know that. You don't call countries 'the Russia', 'the England', do you?
People refer to the U.S. as in going to the United States; so "going to United States" is as weird as saying going to Ukraine. It must be something about that "U".
I meet all of the criteria you mentioned in this article, except I live in Texas and I am not a widow, which might explain why I keep getting kicked off of SeekingArrangement.com The SeekingArrangement.com staff sent me a rude message and stated that I was a "fake" and to get off their site.
Here are my stats that meet the criteria identified as "Fake":
I am female
I am pretty (and ex-model) but they reject my REAL photos saying I look like a professional model (which I have been but some photos were taken by my neighbor)
I used to be an Engineer before I became a stay-at-home mother/charity worker
I have a Graduate degree (B.S. and M.S. in Engineering) and working on a Doctorate
I am "self-employed" (so I can write off my volunteer Charity work/teaching while I work on my doctorate and care for my children)
I am also person of strong faith / spirituality and I mention it in my responses to inquiries by signing off my messages with words like "Blessings" or "Wishing you joy, love, inner peace and prosperity" or I might say "Keep the faith" or "May God bless you" , for example.
According to your criteria, I am a "Fake" but I assure you I am very real and considered a great very attractive but since I recently became divorced, I need get back into the dating world which is why I decided to join SeekingArrangement.com but they keep kicking me off as soon as I open an account with insulting messages calling me a "FAKE". now I know why! I meet almost all of their odd criteria.
Based on your article and my personal experience, SeekingArrangement.com only allows
prostitutes/escorts on their site but
they kick off the following types of good quality woman:
NO "good girls" (no spiritual/faith-based girls allowed);
NO education (no educated, no "graduate" degrees and no "engineers")
NO self-employed woman (most excellent quality single mothers are "self-employed")
I think the SCAM is SeekingArrangement.com for only allowing prostitutes and escorts rather than quality woman such as myself who they rudely call a "fake"
Also, 99% of scammers ate cucumbers at some point in their lives, so beware.
Also, the SeekingArrangement website is pretty scared of free Ukrainian and Phillipino websites, so they have to fear-monger the web browsers.