Words with Friends is a word game for multiple players. Players take turns building words in a manner similar to the classic board game Scrabble. But it also has a social media element to it.
Players can trade instant messages with opponents during each match.
This is where scammers want to join in. They typically target older people who may be lonely and ask lots of questions to get to know their victims and build rapport through appearing to be interested, using compliments and discussing their own fabricated life.
One common story is of a man who claims to be a widowed engineer working aboard ships on the high seas. As each match proceeds, the man (often named Owen) shares that his wife had died in childbirth, and that his daughter is being raised by a cousin or a nurse while he worked aboard ship.
Eventually, after months, catastrophe strikes Owen. His daughter needs an operation that costs $20,000, but Owen is stuck aboard a ship of the coast of Turkey, or some other remote place. Owen then asks the woman player for money.
He will bleed the victim of money until she stops paying and he may have numerous victims on the go at any time.
This scam also works with female scammers chasing lonely old men.
Stay safe From Scammers:
Don’t play online games with people you don’t know in real life.
If you do play the game with strangers — then don’t share personal information. The more questions a stranger asks you — the more suspicious you should become.
Change your profile picture to something less likely to attract the attentions of a scammer e.g. a picture of your dog or anyone’s dog rather than you.
Never send money to people you don’t know.
When in doubt: research your opponent to see if they are a real person or just a scammer’s imagination.
If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-wasters do let me know, by email.
Dating services are a goldmine for scammers and there many fake dating services online. Some are simply phishing websites designed to get your confidential information and provide nothing. Some are real dating sites but poor quality and designed to con people into paying a lot before they realise it’s a waste of time.
This new batch of fake dating sites with names such as Affairbook, Affairgram and Affairsmeet are very basic – there are no websites as such, just fake pages.
The emails sent out by the million target men interested in women and are quite basic such as
“Paula sent you a message. Click to see her photo and read your message.”
Or “Flirt Alert. Kirsty wants to see more of you.”
These even have Unsubscribe options at the bottom of the email – but clicking that just tells the scammer you are interested.
It’s simple to avoid these fake services – if you didn’t sign up for such a service then any emails claiming to be messages from someone interested in you are obviously fake and clicking the links is a really bad idea.
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When looking to find victims for romance scams, the scammers usually look for victims with money, but this latest set of romance scams seem to be targeting people who are greedy for money, which may mean they have very little money.
However, greedy people are often easier to con than the less greedy ones.
The email title is something like “Elisabeth, 34 years old, Young Wealthy Woman, looking for a decent man”.
Then a picture of a beautiful woman (not the picture opposite).
The picture is likely to have been copied from the social media profile of some innocent woman, nothing to do with the scam.
The message goes on to explain that she is looking for an intelligent decent man, a real connoisseur of female beauty and that she is financially secure and can be the sponsor of the relationship.
The wording is chosen to entice as many people as possible to reply.
The email is from kollisar.biz.ua which is Ukrainian.
The message claims that I have received it because I am registered on a dating site – which is not true.
The whole thing is just a scam of course to try to catch greedy stupid men who can be fleeced of money.
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“Edward” whose email address is “Brad.John” seems to have a personality problem, wants me to share in $21 million stuck in a deposit account. Nope – whatever your name is you can keep the fictitious money.
Mina says she lives in my town and although I don’t know her, is finding it hard to keep her feelings for me secret. Just a con to get me to click a link.