22 December 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Identifying Romance Scammer Profiles on Dating Sites

I’ve worked hard to keep the Asian Love Connections dating site reasonably scammer free. Scammers love dating sites, but as a programmer and all round geek, I love coming up ways of detecting them.

When scammers are identified on Asian Love Connections, their profiles are flagged and used to help identify other scammers.

So how can YOU turn detective and spot the signs that you’re really talking to a scammer?

Scammer Countries

First of all, most scammers come from African countries, or countries with populations of men with connections to Africa. Malaysia springs to mind here as being a particular problem.

Of course not so many Western people want to find a partner from Africa, so the scammers usually disguise their origins. When they do this, the most popular country they pretend to be from is the USA.

Romance scammers rarely pretend to be from other countries. Those countries with the least apparent numbers of romance scammers are Canada, New Zealand and Belgium. Are these the three most obscure countries in the World? Maybe…

“Dirty” Cities

Certain cities are “dirty” and I would advise you to be more wary of people claiming to be from these cities.

Most notorious city as far as Asian Love Connections is concerned is Dallas. Anyone registering from this US city is more than likely to be a scammer. I’m not sure why, but it could be due to a lot of proxy server and other shady services operating out of this city.

Kuala Lumpur is the second most notorious city. Again, Malaysia is a hotbed of Internet scamming activity and it’s about time the authorities shut down this cell of miscreants.

Stop Forum Spam

Stop Forum Spam is an excellent resource for checking that IP addresses are “clean” and aren’t being used by spammers or scammers.

In my experience there is a very high correlation between “dirty” IP addresses and the likelihood of somebody using it to sign up to Asian Love Connections as a fake person.

If you think you’re talking to a spammer, examine the headers of any emails they send to you directly and input the originating IP address into Stop Forum Spam. Get a high score on Stop Forum Spam for that IP address and the chances are you’re talking to a scammer.

Incidentally, if you take out a Gold Membership plan on Asian Love Connections, then you get to see members’ Stop Forum Spam scores for the IP address they used to register for the site.

Email Providers

It’s been my experience that scammers overwhelmingly prefer Yahoo mail accounts. But this in itself isn’t a red flag, because just as many legit people use Yahoo as well. Of the big mail providers, MSN/Windows Live appears to be least used by scammers. Hotmail and GMail are also both less frequented by scammers than they were in times gone past.

Little Signs

Some signs of scammers aren’t immediately obvious. One strange observation is that somebody who has ticked the box to say they’re a smoker is far less likely to be a scammer.

Oddly enough, somebody putting a phone number in their profile description is also a good sign that they’re legit. The problem with this signal is that few dating sites actually permit phone numbers or other contact details in profiles.

Big Signs

By far the biggest clue that somebody is a scammer are the photos they upload to their profiles. After running a dating site for over a year I’ve developed a sixth sense for spotting fake profiles.

It’s kind of hard to describe how or why I know a photo is stolen or fake. Needless to say, the most attractive looking dating site members are more often than not using stolen photos of celebrities. These photos tend to be quite easy to spot as they’re often taken by professional photographers. And in some cases I even know who the celeb is.

Keep Looking for Clues

Asian Love Connections depends on more than 6000 different variables for determining whether somebody could be a scammer. There’s no one thing that makes it obvious that somebody is a scammer. So when you’re chatting to people on dating sites, you need to be observant and look for things that don’t feel right.

And if you think you’re talking to a scammer – you probably are.

If you’ve got any particular worries about somebody you’re talking to on a dating site, post your concerns in the comments section below. And please check out our forum for more ways of spotting scammers.

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