Anatomy of a “Lonely Hearts Scam” Day Three: Hinting at Romance

IF you are new here I study scams as well as repair Mac computers and just a touch of cybersecurity. I don’t just study who did what and why. But how the scams work. I study the psychology of scams and disinformation. The goal is to someday get a degree on this very topic. Not long ago someone tried to get me involved in a lonely hearts scam. . I’m using this as an opportunity to study how they work and perhaps save someone from a scam themselves.

When we left off I had steered the conversation towards romance….sort of.

What a lot of people do not understand is that con artists are really good at making you think it was your idea to give them money. They do this by using subtle hints then backing away. The best con artists will often have their victims beating down their door trying to give them money. Loney Hearts scams work the same way.

In the last line, I mentioned that my friend was having romance issues. This does not directly bring up romance but does open the door for that conversation.

Unlike Chat Scams Lonley Harts scams are subtle.

We have all received those chat messages from some bot who claims to be some kind of ” lonely woman who just needs a man to ____them”. Then followed by a link that can be anything from an adult website to a virus to download. This is about as subtle as a sledgehammer. (Yet people still fall for it…. no idea why)

On the other hand, a Lonely hearts scam will take some time. The con artists are willing to wait in hopes of a big payout much much larger than the small change the chatbots get.

So far “Alice” has not even mentioned romance however has left bread crumbs to make the mark think she is a big breasted wealthy woman in china who may be single. (Con artists love to have you fill in the gaps). For this scam to work she needs to work on something more than pure hormones. She needs to capture your brain.

It will work something like this.

  1. Introduction
  2. Friends
  3. Flirting
  4. Romance

If you think the con artist is not willing to wait around months for this you are wrong! They are expecting a big payout so what is a few months for what could be considered a years salary (Now imagine they are talking to 10-20 people… good motivation for patience)

Baiting the hook “Rescue me”

There is a part of us who want to be a hero and save the person of our dreams. For us men, this is really pounded into our heads. How many action films have you seen where the hero who just happens to be single saves the day and gets the girl? Yep almost all of them.

So now she has attempted to embed the concept that she is single and had a bad relationship. Come on, guys. You know the drill. This is part of the script where you start to think about rescuing her from her loneliness by providing her with a real relationship. … it’s in the freaking script.

So someone talks about a dark time in their past when it comes to romance and you are attracted to them. What is the next natural statement out of your mouth? “Oh, what happened?”. Now combine the two situations .. Guy wants to rescue and now there is talk of a past relationship. This will be followed by how they are single or have not found the right man yet. Baiting the mark to suggest themselves.

Next time I will talk about how I’m very sure this is a scam and why it’s dangerous to think otherwise.

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