Harper manages the firm’s investigations for Eastern Europe, including Russia, the Ukraine and Romania—”three countries in the region where we see the highest risk for fraud and scam activity,” he says. Petersburg and Kiev and conduct due diligence, background checks, surveillance, and asset searches in both countries.
The firm’s goal, says Harper, is “to lower the risk for businesses and individuals looking to do business in a foreign country, lower the risk for online dating, and to verify companies and individuals met via the internet.” Harper has been a private investigator for a decade, and he worked in law enforcement and military investigations prior to joining Wymoo®and Russia PI. Each country is slightly unique in its criminal activity and approach to dating scams.
Also included in the dating scam tutorial is a list of email addresses and pseudonyms favored by anti-scammer vigilantes who try to waste the scammers’ time and otherwise prevent them from conning real victims.
In addition, the package bundles several photos and videos of attractive Russian women, some of whom are holding up blank signs onto which the scammer can later Photoshop whatever message he wants.
The call center pictured above charges per call, payable only in Bitcoin.
“If you imagine the cost of doing by phone every part of the scam, it’s rather high, so they do most of the scam via email,” Holden said.
The dating scam package advises customers to stick to a tried-and-true approach.
For instance, scammers are urged to include an email from the mother of the girl in the first 10 emails between the scammer and a target.
There are no reliable stats for how many Americans fall prey to online dating scams every year.
A lot of victims are too embarrassed to report the crime.
When the call center employees are not being hired to close the deal on a romance scam, very often they are used to assist in bank account takeovers, redirecting packages with shipping companies, or handling fraudulent new credit applications that require phone verification.
Another reason that call centers aren’t used earlier in romance scams: Hiring one is expensive.
The vendor of the fraud package advertises a guaranteed response rate of at least 1.2 percent, and states that customers who average 30 scam letters per day can expect to earn roughly ,000 a week.