Nigerian dating scam victims
Based on anecdotal evidence, Twitter has become their favorite platform for luring in suckers.Recently, Twitter's security team has been tracking a large amount of fraudulent activity coming out of Africa, including "romance schemes"—wherein the fraudster uses an emotional appeal of friendship or promised romance to lure a victim into a scam.This suggests that there's a high level of sophistication to this latest wave of fakers. I get about three direct message requests per week that start off with a simple "hi" or the more come-hither "hi honey." Sometimes, these messages are from individual accounts (or maybe groups) who claim to be women who "just want to chat and make friends." Often, these are slow-moving affairs—probably because the people on the other end are involved in trying to reel in multiple fish.The approach used by the fraudster varies with the target.
But "influencers" (models with a heavy Instagram presence) and "lifestyle bloggers" are also good sources, as their social media streams are full of selfies and images tailored to be intimate.
Often, the scammers will attempt to move the target off Twitter to another "secure" communications channel that reveals more personal information.
"Rose" responded to a comment I made about Nigerian scammers by trying immediately to steer our interaction to Hangouts or Whats App.
They follow a fairly easy-to-spot pattern for anyone who has tracked identity scams.
But the scale of these efforts goes far beyond what you'd expect from what are (to those in the know) recognizable cons.