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Then again, a really savvy criminal probably wouldn’t want to use the image of someone too good-looking—so, wait, does that mean I’m only average-looking after all?
You can see how this has played havoc with my sense of self.
Despite her protestations to the contrary, I had been picturing a lonely woman who, even though she didn’t want to believe it, was actually beginning to fall in love with a man she had never met.
What else besides that and loneliness would compel us to believe that someone across the world we’d never met would fall head over heels in love with us over email?
Although none of the internet security experts I asked had ever heard of that approach in particular, there was a perverted sort of logic to it.
The role of the scammer in these ploys is to engender sympathy from the victim in order to convince them to send money.
The ensuing shame that can result from realizing you were a victim of such a crime or the stubbornly romantic nature of the broken-hearted dupes, ensures that many more instances go unreported.
In other countries, like Australia, investigations have found some million a month lost to online dating scammers.