Scammers use any weakness they find to their advantage.
It's the newest evolution of the Nigerian advance fee (419) scam.
You or someone you know may be dating this person online right now. No matter how good they sound, things aren't what they appear to be.
In reality you're talking to a criminal sitting in a cybercafé with a well-rehearsed script he's used many times before.
That includes dating scams — among the oldest and most common of online swindles.
Recently, I had a chance to review a package of dating scam emails, instructions, pictures, videos and love letter templates that are sold to scammers in the underground, and was struck by how commoditized this type of fraud has become.
A decent person with a good job or business in search of a good, honest partner to settle down with.
He's hunting through chat rooms, dating sites and social networking sites searching for victims, looking to cash in on romance.
If you are over 40, recently divorced, a widow, elderly or disabled then all the better in his eyes.
The romance scam package urges customers to send at least a dozen emails to establish a rapport and relationship before even mentioning the subject of traveling to meet the target.
It is in this critical, final part of the scam that the fraudster is encouraged to take advantage of criminal call centers that staff women who can be hired to play the part of the damsel in distress.