Added: Ambre Reiff - Date: 09.04.2022 14:45 - Views: 17464 - Clicks: 5878
In the post we discussed how Words with Friends has become a popular platform for romance scams. Romance scammers initiate chat within the app, tell you how lovely you look, before suggesting that you should move to Google Hangouts. This article picks up the scam at this point. Most people would do the sensible thing and decline the initial advances of the scammer but those who are vulnerable and desperate for love may well just fall into the trap.
On Words with Friends, I use my proper. I mean, I originally set it up to play a game, not to catch scammers, its just worked out that way. Throughout this conversation, my name was Chris, a 36 year old single guy who worked in finance in London.
Chris is unlucky in love and loves nothing more than a Google Hangouts romance scam. To start speaking with the scammer in Google Hangouts, you will need to add them to your Hangout contacts. They will have given you their address in Words with Friends so this is simple. The reason they ask for your address is that they have so many scams on the go, it helps them identify who you are. It is important to keep asking them questions about themselves, their town, their timezone, weather, etc.
This is key when baiting during the Google Hangouts romance scam. Anything that could trip them up. Asking about their job is usually a good one to start with as it normally forms part of their script. Most scammers tend to work around the Gulf region.
There are numerous reasons for this, one is that most people will be unfamiliar with this area so they have more to fabricate the truth. Secondly, the timezone of the Gulf region is more in line with their own area so it makes the times that they can scam fit in with their own day. You can usually have a bit of fun when asking a scammer about their home life.
The scammer I dealt with in this example told me they were from Louisiana, a part of the USA I know absolutely nothing about. Naturally, I asked them about it. The reply I got is shown below. The response looks very much like a copy and paste job from a third party web site. Although very subtle, these are the things you need to be looking out for if you think there may be a chance, no matter how slim, that you are talking to a scammer. A quick Google search of the text seems to confirm our suspicions.
We know at this point, the person we are chatting to is not who they say they are neither are we, but that is for our own security. We can be sure this is a Google Hangouts romance scam. Again we get what looks like a Googled response. This gets the scammer thinking. Of course, the obvious thing to do would be to open Google Maps before giving their answer.
Some are that dumb and wrapped up in their script however, meaning these deviations really do throw them. The scammer seemed to have no desire to use Google Maps but I certainly was going to. I just play along for the time being. One of the main reasons the scammer wanted us to come to Google Hangouts was so that they could send us some pics. It was time to request to see what the scammer looked like. When asked, the scammer was happy to send me a photograph of themselves.
As you can see, the photo looks natural, its not a posed glamour shot although sometimes they are. As you can see, the Google image search has returned lots of matches for our photo. Non in the name of Ann Simpson who our scammer claimed to be. In fact ,this shows up that our image appears to be being used my many individuals for different needs. As to who the legitimate owner of the photo is, who knows. The scammer asks to see a photo of us. I always stall at this time in the hope that they will forget as there is no way they are getting a pic of me.
This one was a bit persistent so I ended up giving them a royalty free random one off Google. A bit unethical but it did the trick. We had got 3 quick wins in a short space of time. I wanted to learn more about the scammer so asked some more questions which would be reasonable to ask someone who you had just started chatting to. To the untrained eye, that seems a plausible response. I continue to ask about the local area and the scammer persists in sending copied and pasted facts about what there is to do. They seem to be a fan of New Orleans which they suggest, we can go to on a night out.
They tell me New Orleans is an hour and a half away from where they are allegedly from.
Google Maps disagrees however. It is almost 4 and a half hours away. That must be some night out to go to all that effort!! Remember the purpose of this scam was all about romance. Although neither side in this case had any inclination to meet, it forms a large part of the script. It had taken probably 3 or 4 days to get to this stage so the bond between the scammer and potential victim has developed ificantly and the trust is starting to increase. It was suggested to me that I go and meet the scammer when they had finished their term in Qatar which was mid December.
Of course I agreed and we starting making plans for my visit. Naturally, I wanted to know where I needed to fly to. This is where the fun started and I gradually turned the pressure up on the scammer. I was told that I needed to fly to Leesville City airport. Remember at the start I said to ask as many questions as possible. This is the reason as sooner or later they will trip themselves up. Again I got some garbled, half copied and pasted, half nonsensical reply. So I am now being told to fly in to New Orleans and then take a local flight to Leesville.
The closest Airport that you can use from New Orleans is Alexandria. It was time to put a bit more pressure on.
By this stage I was getting frustrated with our scammer and was tempted to blow my cover but I was still interested to see how they were going to try to extort money from me so I resisted the urge. Just reading the exert above shows how unrealistic their scam is, yet people still fall for it. I was on a roll at this point, getting more angry by the second that this person was blatantly lying and showing no shame at the same time. I continued with the pressing questions in the hope that they would break.
They are trained to be ruthless with the sole intention of forcing decent people to part with their money. As you can see from the screen grab above, the scammer has tripped themselves up. Earlier in the conversation it was an hour and a half to New Orleans, now they have obviously used Google maps and it has gone up by 3 hours.
If ever you needed evidence that this idiot was copying and pasting everything, the fact that is takes approximately 4 hours and 43 minutes would seal the deal. Not 4 and a half hours or 5, but approximately 4 hours 43 minutes. Now that is precise. Even after this error, the scammer seemed oblivious and repeated it again within minutes.
As well as there being no planes directly from New Orleans to Leesville, there are also no trains. At this point the scammer really was having a hard time. I took great delight in pointing this out to them yet still they kept to their script. Although totally dumb, this appeared to be an experienced scammer. Although annoyed with the scammer, I was still having fun so I decided to concentrate on their journey from USA to Qatar. They kept declaring their love for me so I decided to use this to my advantage.
This scammer might be dumb but they deserve 10 out of 10 for imagination. Have you every heard anything as ridiculous as this? Even my sarcastic responses seemed to go completely over their head. I was having fun toying with this idiot so I told them I was going to meet a friend and was going to tell them all about her and how I was going to fly out to meet her.
You know, all the things which would set alarm bells ringing with most people. All scams, whichever kind they are, will only succeed if the victim keeps all info to themselves.
I just wanted to make them feel awkward and on the back foot. Their scam was nearing an end and I wanted to maximise the discomfort for them. The key to trapping these scammers is remembering what they have said earlier in the conversation. We got onto the subject of what car they had and it came out that they had a model Lexus. In isolation, this would be fine but they had told me they had been in Qatar for 2 years.
As this conversation took place in Octoberhaving a car under 2 years old made no sense at all. When questioned about this faux pas, the scammer said they had arranged to have it delivered to their home while in Qatar.
Scammer logic, buy a car, have it sit doing nothing for 2 years and watch the price depreciate. There were times throughout the week and a bit of this scam that I was ready to just reveal and move on but I wanted to see how it would all end. As it turns out, the scammer needed to pay a release fee to get out of their work. Again, another totally unbelievable claim which any straight thinking individual would see straight through. They make out they cannot afford to make the payment so I, being a helpful guy step in and offer to help out.
This part of the conversation took place late on Sunday night and the scammer said it would take a short while for the agent to get back to them with the details in which to deposit the funds. I am unsure but I think they possibly set up a new bank on the Monday morning specifically for this purpose.
Once the scammer sent me the details through, they contained the name of a person and the details for a bank in Turkey. I quickly made contact with this bank and passed on the details but they never acknowledged this information and Wanted a chat hangout buddy this day, I have no idea as to whether they acted on the information or not. As soon as the scammer was confronted, they threatened me with being blocked and then never replied to any further message.Wanted a chat hangout buddy
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