Dear Anon-O-Box: What Does A Scam Email Look Like?

Dear Anon-O-Box,

I’ve been lurking your site for a while, and following you on Twitter; I’ve come to respect your opinion, and would like to hear your thoughts on something I came across.  I created a free account on SpeedDate.com, and one of the members on there emailed me.  The first contact (on the site) looked like this:

Hello Dear,

How are you today?,I hope you are having a nice time, as for me am cool and lonely. Am new to this and most of the guys I read from there profile are not what I want “you sound nice”, so i had to subscribe and send you a massage which i may have to De-activate the account after you receive this massage.! .I guess I will leave you with this for now. I hope your day went well and I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks for reading this.i will appreciate if write me back directly to my mail ,my screen name is sweetberry305 AT YAHOO DOT COM, I WILL AWAIT YOUR RESPONSE THERE.

Take Care,

Tiffany.

Now, I’m thinking scammer; I’m not 100% positive though.  What’s your opinion?  I figure you’ve seen more of these than I have.


Thanks,

Unsure

e answers:

Dear Unsure,

This is 100% a scammer. Here are the giant red flags that “she” is waving and that every online dater should learn to recognize.

Does not use your name or any details about your profile.

Notice how she refers to you as “Dear” and includes ZERO details to let you know she’s read your profile? That’s a clear sign of a scam artist who is sending the same email to hundreds and hundreds of guys.

*cough* This is also why I tell you to write first contact emails that are NOT cut-n-paste. Girls get scam emails, too. Don’t want to be mistaken for a scam artist, do ya?

Horrendous English.

While these scammers will claim to be from your area, they are often working from non-English-speaking countries. If it reads like the email you got from the Nigerian prince who wanted to give you part of his millions, then it’s a scam email.

They will be deleting their account soon.

Did you know that lots of these scam emails come from accounts started with stolen credit cards? It’s no wonder she says her account will be deactivated soon. It will – just as soon as the person reports their Visa stolen. Don’t believe me? Set up a Twitter search for stole credit card and watch it for a while. You’ll see tweets from people saying things like, “WTF does that guy who stole my credit card want with six Match.com subscriptions?” Easy. He’s gonna try to scam people with them.

Immediately give you off-site contact information.

Nevermind that it’s in all caps (so you don’t miss it?). This goes hand-in-hand with the fact that the account will be deleted soon – they want to be sure you can stay on the hook, so they give you their email address. No matter how much a woman likes your profile, it’s extremely unlikely she’ll hand over her regular email address right away.

This is another reason why we recommend to our clients to wait until someone replies back at least once before giving them alternate means of contacting you. Keep it on the dating site for a while where there are safeguards for your privacy.

When in doubt…

“But E, what if she’s a foreign girl and her English isn’t so great?” There’s a slim, slim chance that this is a possibility with an otherwise spammy-looking email. Does her profile match up with this possibility or is it a generic “I like everything” profile with a photo or two of an unbelievably hot chick (who doesn’t look foreign at all)?

Use your geek brain, friends. The one in your skull.

Happy dating!

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