Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Perimeter

9/7/2009
11:20 AM
Gadi Evron
Gadi Evron
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

The Story Of A Girl I Met Online

I have met many people online during the past two decades, and I have many stories to tell. The latest is about a girl who decided I was her future husband.

I have met many people online during the past two decades, and I have many stories to tell. The latest is about a girl who decided I was her future husband.Said girl had an abusive boyfriend, was sexy as a calendar girl, and was way too accommodating when she should have cut all communication.

A scammer, you say? Why jump to conclusions -- after all, weirder things have happened online. She wasn't my type, but I wasn't about to give up on this story before I discovered the angle being used to scam people. (After a while, one develops a nose for identifying exactly what sort of individual you are talking to.)

One of the first stories the girl told me was about her ex-boyfriend, how he beat her, and how all he wanted was to marry her for her money, which he would have gotten.

Hold on -- maybe it wasn't a scam. Maybe she was real after all. Just in case, I invested some more time in this "relationship." After all, I hadn't caught her in any contradiction yet.

She mentioned that she was looking for someone to trust and tell things. I mentioned how trust takes time.

I started answering her messages less and less, and made the chats shorter and shorter; there is a clear limit as to how much I am willing to invest in finding out scams that find me, especially when the conversations lack actual content. And, indeed, right out of the blue, two weeks later, the curtain has fallen.

    "Hi," she wrote. "Hey," I replied. "I want to ask for your help. It's about my inheritance," she said. "Let me guess," I quickly jumped in. "You have millions, and all you need from me is $500, and I will get the millions later on?" "Yes," she said, to my surprise. "I can give you all the information you need to send me the money." "Bye now." Done.

Action: remove from IM. I forgot to block her out, so I got a message again today, reminding me of this affair. I guess the scammer preferred to give it a final shot rather than let all of the effort already put into me go to waste, much like in my previous encounter with a Facebook 419 scam.

All together, the scammer invested two weeks' time on me. Though I didn't invest much time in chatting back with "her," "she" was often slow to communicate, probably talking to many other potential victims in the background.

It seems there is this supposition that boys will keep talking to girls as long as the girls keep talking to them, especially if they're a bit naughty and hurt. I wonder where that idea came from. Add to that the fact that they invest time and seed a back story two weeks before, and trust is formed. Add a background financial incentive of marrying into money, and you seal the deal. Or don't you?

Is "her" relatively bad English another giveaway that this was a scam? Or does it contribute to the idea that "she" is gullible?

It would be interesting to look at the scammers' success ratios. It would be even more interesting if the "girl" was a chat bot, rather than a person. While unlikely, it would break my record of talking to a chat bot for a whole hour.

I also wonder who the cute girl is in the pictures I received -- and what she would think of the whole matter. Because she is a victim here as well.

Follow Gadi Evron on Twitter: http://twitter.com/gadievron

Gadi Evron is an independent security strategist based in Israel. Special to Dark Reading. Gadi is CEO and founder of Cymmetria, a cyber deception startup and chairman of the Israeli CERT. Previously, he was vice president of cybersecurity strategy for Kaspersky Lab and led PwC's Cyber Security Center of Excellence, located in Israel. He is widely recognized for ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Our Endpoint Protection system is a little outdated... 
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2019
This Tech Digest provides a wrap up and overview of the year's top cybersecurity news stories. It was a year of new twists on old threats, with fears of another WannaCry-type worm and of a possible botnet army of Wi-Fi routers. But 2019 also underscored the risk of firmware and trusted security tools harboring dangerous holes that cybercriminals and nation-state hackers could readily abuse. Read more.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-19740
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-12
Octeth Oempro 4.7 allows SQL injection. The parameter CampaignID in Campaign.Get is vulnerable.
CVE-2019-19746
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-12
make_arrow in arrow.c in Xfig fig2dev 3.2.7b allows a segmentation fault and out-of-bounds write because of an integer overflow via a large arrow type.
CVE-2019-19748
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-12
The Work Time Calendar app before 4.7.1 for Jira allows XSS.
CVE-2017-18640
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-12
The Alias feature in SnakeYAML 1.18 allows entity expansion during a load operation, a related issue to CVE-2003-1564.
CVE-2019-19726
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-12
OpenBSD through 6.6 allows local users to escalate to root because a check for LD_LIBRARY_PATH in setuid programs can be defeated by setting a very small RLIMIT_DATA resource limit. When executing chpass or passwd (which are setuid root), _dl_setup_env in ld.so tries to strip LD_LIBRARY_PATH from th...