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How Spoof Emails are Used in Dating Scams

Posted On   date24/06/2014

How Spoof Emails are Used in Dating Scams

Spoof emails are a type of spam email that appears to be from a well-known company, such as Wymoo International, and they attempt to trick you into believing you are communicating with the actual company.  Many of the emails are sent in effort to get personal data from you, and many such emails contain links to spoofed (fake) websites resembling your actual bank or credit card company, hoping you will login or submit your personal data to these fake websites to steal your information.

In the past, most spoof emails were easy to recognize, but today internet criminals are getting more sophisticated in their tactics, and even the most skeptical and cautious can be fooled.

What is a spoof email?

A spoof email is any type of spam or fraudulent email that falsely claims to be from a company or organization, and attempts to communicate with you to steal your money or personal data.  While debit and credit card numbers, social security numbers, addresses, passwords and dates of birth are the most commonly targeted data, any type of information could be requested, depending on the criminal and objective.

How to recognize and avoid spoof emails

Taking steps to avoiding spoof emails  is very important, as it only takes one time to become a victim.  Criminals can claim to be from a bank, a school, your credit card company, and even law enforcement.  Spoof emails may look dead on legitimate, and are not always easy to detect.  When in doubt, search the web for the company or organization, and contact them directly.  NEVER click on the links in the email.

Be on the lookout for suspicious greetings such as Dear Sir, Hello, Good Afternoon, Dear Cardholder, etc.  If the email does not know your full name, this is a red flag. If the email is requesting you to login or click on a link, this is a major red flag, and be sure not to click on anything.   Many spoof emails try to tell you that your account is compromised or your security is at risk, and claim it is urgent you follow the instructions in the email – don’t.  Verify the email and stay safe by calling the company directly.

Fake links and fake websites are commonly included in a spoof email, so be skeptical and make sure you are dealing with the true website.   Check the URL or domain name carefully or search for the company on the internet using Bing, Yahoo or DuckDuckGo to be sure you’re on the real site.

Always check where a link is going before you click. You can hover your mouse over the link and look at the URL before clicking, but the safest policy is not to click on links in any suspicious email.

Spoof emails are used in dating scams

Online dating and social media are booming, with millions of users worldwide.  And, with this, has come millions of online dating scam victims.  International private investigators report that, sadly, many scam victims are targeted multiple times.  Internet criminals operating from countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Malaysia, Russia, the Ukraine and China, often send emails to scam victims claiming to be from a law enforcement agency, reputable private investigation company or law firm.  The criminals know very well who the victim is, because they have already scammed him or her once.  They then target them again offering help, claiming to be a lawyer  or police officer, and so on.  The result is that the online dating scam victim often falls for the trap, sending money or information to the same criminal.

Too often, online dating scam victims ignore the warning signs and get duped.

Criminals may claim they can help you recover your financial losses that you incurred, or they might say they have the suspect in custody, and they need your help and information (and money) to prosecute the criminals.   In other cases, romance scam victims have previously supplied personal information to criminals, who will later use that information to create a spoof email to target the victim.

Example of a spoof email being used

Some spoof emails are so difficult to detect, not even an internet security expert can tell the difference.  But, luckily, many are easy to recognize and as with the below example from a criminal in Accra, the senders are usually uneducated and ignorant of proper English.  The emails contain many spelling and grammar mistakes.  The senders in obvious spoof emails are not from the official website, such as Wymoo.com, and typically use a free email account like rediffmail.com or Gmail, instead of an official email address.  Examples of spoof email addresses used by Ghana criminals include wymoo.int@rediffmail.com, hsi.investigators@journalist.com, leecrndll@gmail.com, etc.  Notice they are not from an official company website.

 Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2014 22:50:31
To: xxxxx@hotmail.com
Subject: URGENT REPLY
From: wymoo.int@rediffmail.com

HELLO SIR

It’s My Pleasure to send you this email from Wymoo we’re running our servers with some traces or people around the world preventing our clients from being scammed…There’s a couple of people getting in touch with you as lawyers and IGP’s, as we found out on our Data with a prove of them to be scammers, Sir i really want a hear back from you and to get some details of thier locations so we can set Traces on them.

Accra, Ghana currently has a population of 2.5 million, and international business and investment is threatened by criminal activity. Because of the high riskforbusiness fraud, Ghana gold scams and romance scams, all relationships should be verified. Our professional background check investigators can determine if the person or company is real and legitimate.

Whether you require a Ghana background check, company verification, international investigation, dating background check, identity verification,fraud screeningor Africa private investigator, we can help. We maintain the highest trained investigators in the business. Get a free quote today.

URGENTLY REPLY : SIR WE REALLY NEED YOUR REPLY BACK FOR MORE INVESTIGATIONS, HELP WYMOO BRINGS SCAMMERS DOWN IN THE WORLD… THANK YOU HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON..

MY REGARDS

SPT. EVANS.

What to do if you receive a spoof email?

If you receive a spoof email claiming to be from Wymoo International, your bank or any other reputable company, report it.  Visit the official website and click on Contact us or even call the company directly.    Never click on any links or communicate with someone if they are not using an official email address, and even then use caution.  Spoof emails are deceptive in appearance. However, be skeptical and you can spot them.

If you’re not certain the email is a spoof, you can View Email Headers to view the source of the email, and see who the email was sent from.  In most cases, it’s best to click on spam and delete.

When in doubt, consult a professional private investigator for assistance.  If you’ve met someone online or have been scammed in the past, always get a dating background check investigation to minimize your risk and stay safe.  Once you have been scammed once, unfortunately, you remain on the radar of internet criminals hoping to cash in a second time, and they use spoof emails to do it.

C. Wright
© 2014 Wymoo International
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