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His company, which he founded in 2011, detects up to 250,000 per month, and was born out of a healthy combination of necessity and self-interest. The increase in online dating scammers, he says, has grown in step with the popularity of the sites and apps themselves.“As with all dating services, there came a point that it hit the radar of the scammers, and it suddenly became overrun.
Suddenly I had to stop doing new features and trying to acquire new users,” in order to keep up with squashing scammers.
There was no dedicated screening service at that time, Winchester says. Well, he did along with an acquaintance, Nick Tsinonis, who already had expertise using machine learning to help match dating site users based not on their expressed preference, but on behavior.
And if you replace “collect an inheritance” with “find true love,” they’re an increasing menace for dating apps and services. But they are an increasingly important front for criminals, who in turn use increasingly sophisticated methods to snare their marks, and take them for whatever they can.
A recently released list, by a fraud-busting company called Scamalytics, of the top lines and photos used in profiles by online dating grifters shows that while the range of sophistication may vary, the end goal is always the same: To fleece romance-seekers out of their money.