Inside the Romance Scammer Playbook

Romance scammers often use ready-made scripts when trying to charm online dating users and extract money from them. This ‘playbook’ is now available to read through, helping users understand whether they may be getting scammed.

Social Catfish, which helps users verify a person’s online identity, is sharing the romance scammer playbook often used by fraudsters from West Africa and Nigeria. 

The playbook includes a variety of introductions to make initial contact, followed by questions to begin the conversation. It then provides ready-made answers to common questions surrounding family, work, past relationships, and likes & dislikes.

It also includes ways to get around verification strategies, like when a target asks to get on a phone call. In this case, scammers pretend to be in Afghanistan on peace-keeping work, and claim that phone calls are dangerous due to Taliban insurgents and security issues.

Later in the conversation, the playbook lays out step by step strategies for declaring love and even sexting.

Social Catfish explained that “while some scammers won’t follow this exact blueprint, most will, minus a few different details. How do we know this? From experience; we helped thousands of scam victims over the years”.

The company’s insights into the Nigerian romance scam industry come from a genuine scammer turned whistleblower that they managed to find. 

Social Catfish shares advice from the Federal Bureau of Investigations Internet Crimes Complaint Center, which warns that scammers can come from online dating platforms, but also online games, social media, email, and other apps.