Who falls for this?! (dating site scammers)

From an OKCupid dating profile:

“I am 100% optimistic person and I never give up! I truly believe that life is beautiful and I know how to make it even better. I have a lot of goals and dreams and I’m working on making them come true. If you were my friend, you would be surprised to see how strong I may be in many situations. I learned to depend only on myself. But you will know the real me only when we become really close. I will confess to you that I’m really tired of being so strong and to cope with everything on my own. I am ready to admit, that I long for a loving man by my side”

Now, keep in mind, this is coming from an incredibly hot, porn-star like woman who is scantily clad in a bikini top and booty shorts. On her profile, she also lists the ‘age-range’ that she prefers in men, and it’s like 36-70. And she is 22. :dubious:

But the main “you must be joking” aspect of this is the language used. The self summary above, if actually read, sounds like it was written by a person who spoke little actual English and just knew enough words string together to sound almost legitimate, enough to fool some poor, lonely dude thinkin’ only with his boner.

I’ve actually messaged these types of profiles before. One particular profile, after I gave the prerequisite adoring compliments to “her” to seem legit, I asked if English was her second language. “Her” response was great: “What? I’m very good at the English!” :smiley:

Another profile that I messaged was a “woman” who told me how much she was looking for her soulmate and she thought I was “probably the one” and she would love to come see me and do all these great things. However, she was currently stuck visiting her mother in Ghana. :frowning: (this is a blonde haired, blue eyed girl) If I could only help her out with the cost of a plane ticket, she could come right away and we could be happy forever! :slight_smile:

I run across these profiles all the fucking time. They are so easy to spot. The women are always ones who look like porn stars, the pictures don’t look like “real world” pictures, they’re more well done. And the language used to write the profiles is always horrendously awful. I almost can’t feel bad for someone gullible enough to fall for something like this. But it must work, because it’s everywhere.

What is the scam? They’re prostitutes? They’re men? They need your bank info and SS# so they can send you a plane ticket?

Well, given the fact that they are using phony pictures, speaking broken English and requesting money, I’m assuming it’s a scam.
ETA: Do you see other plausible scenarios?

Oh, I was stuck on “Ghana” and didn’t see “plane ticket”.

Possibly direct you to their “site” where they try to get you to buy their pictures. Or you get malware.

Check out some of the under-25 men’s profiles. A huge percentage of the pictures have a girl’s head in the corner. :smack:

The reason these scams sometimes work is “Hope springs eternal.”

“God gave man only enough blood to operate the brain or the dick at any one time.”

No, I don’t know the source.

Or, “Desperation springs eternal.”

As a linguist who works with ELLs, I can say that the text in the OP is not characteristic of non-native English–or at least doesn’t display any of the non-idiomatic or ungrammatical marks of non-native English. Yes it is indeed peculiar, but not because of non-nativeness. It’s peculiar because it’s so blatantly contrived to portray a woman who is all things to all men. It’s like it was compiled by some marketing company algorithm. No real people write about themselves like that.

However, the person who responded to the OP’s inquiry by saying, “What, I’m very good at the English” is probably a non-native speaker. I imagine they have a bank of profile statements which they string together, and don’t actually write the thing themselves. Their errors come out when they have to communicate something that can’t be scripted.

The scam part seems pretty clear to me. They say they’re in love with the man, but they’re stuck in some place like Ghana. So they ask him to send (by Western Union) the money for the plane ticket back so they can finally be together.

Ah, twoo luv. Twoo luv is what brings us together…

Well, plainly, your target audience with ANY scam is the thinking-impaired who happen to control decent amounts of fluid cash.

I have trouble understanding how this is supposed to work, but, then, I am smart and poor.

“Hey, thanks for sending me the money; I was going to buy the plane ticket so I could come visit you but my landlord is being a total dick, so I kinda need some more…”

“Cool, thanks. Augh! A rock fell on my foot! I need stitches!”

“Darn those unpaid parking tickets…”

Unfortunately, a discouragingly large number of men don’t read profiles, so with a good picture, it really doesn’t matter what you write.

I read somewhere that a lot of scams like this or the Nigerian prince emails, are specifically written so that only the stupid fall for it. If the profile was better written, then an average person might fall for it at first, and spend some time corresponding, but realize that it’s a scam later and not send the money. That’s time wasted by the scam artist.

But if someone is so naïve/desperate/stupid to fall for an obvious scam profile like that, it’s a lot less likely that they’ll ever realize it’s a scam, and they’ll be much easier to get money out of. So with the badly written profiles that are obvious scams they’ll get fewer hits, but those hits are more likely to be profitable.

So you’re saying she’s not going to fly all the way over here to the middle of nowhere, USA so we can live happily ever after.

But I sent her my whole life savings!! :frowning:

I searched for the text and it is word-for-word from a profile on a site called Natasha Club which appears to be a Russian mail-order bride site. The author is listed as being able to write, but not speak, English.

Since you stated that you’ve messaged these types before I would think the answer to your question is, “You do.”

:slight_smile: If getting people to message them was all they were after, then sure. But that makes no sense. I was messaging merely for entertainment purposes and obviously never gave them any money. So how do you figure I fell for anything?

If you want a real laugh, go to a romance scam forum and read some of the posts. The people who have been scammed truly believe that the dating sites allowed them to be scammed (their own behavior had nothing to do with it) and should have protected them from the get-go.

They truly do not see that they failed to exercise even the most basic common sense and divorced themselves from reality every step of the way.