Cyber-criminals have automated many operations in the past, from ransomware distribution to malicious ads, but you would never have expected from them to automate something as personal and individualistic as online dating scams, also known as “mail order brides” schemes.
If you like to run online scams, not necessarily dating-related, the first thing you need is email addresses. While it is widely known that you can find entire batches containing thousands of email addresses on the black market, you can now skip over the trial & error stage of your shady business and buy a full online dating scam package, as security reporter Brian Krebs reports.
These kits contain everything you need to get your Russian bride campaign off the ground and running in a matter of hours.
People that purchase these starter packages will find mad-lib-like email templates, various email types for different situations, and even access to a call center where real Russian women stand by waiting to play the victim on the phone.
The package is ideal for crooks that like to run online dating scams only with a few targets at a time, or the package can be integrated into spam campaigns, with the possibility of automating future responses based on various situations.
Rentable call centers and involving the Russian bride’s mother
The people behind this package are also providing tutorials, recommending other cyber-crooks to wait and send specific emails and money requests only after a certain number of emails have been sent.
To maximize their chances of success, scammers are recommended to involve the “Russian bride’s” mother in the email exchange, somewhere in the first ten email exchanges.
Furthermore, the romance scam package also comes with several photos and videos of attractive women, just in case the victim needs more convincing. Some of the photos are of women holding up blank papers, where skilled Photoshop artists can place whatever text or image they want.
Vendors are bragging about a guaranteed 1.2% response rate, with a 20% possibility of scamming victims after three emails, and 60% scam effectiveness after eight exchanges.
One of the email templates included in the dating scam package