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May 29, 2008

Nobody’s phool

Filed under: News — posted by Mia @ 4:22 pm

Phomance: the old-fashioned kind of courtship, where you talk on the phone rather than email and text? Nope: phomance, comes the word from CNET, is a type of phishing scam aimed at the online dating community. “We’ve all done foolish things for romance,” writes Ben Nahorney, about his interaction with a phlirtatious phomancer from the phormer Soviet Union, who was, as he tells it, “‘I’ll wire her money just to take care­ of her sick puppy’ gorgeous.” See where the scam might come in?

Fortunately for everyone but the scammers, Nahorney is not only a member of a dating website, but also a senior information developer at the security software company Symantec. BUSTED! In his blog, Nahorney describes the warning signs that came along with his initial feelings of hope and excitement, and which tactics he pulled from his own bag of tricks to reveal the true nature of their would-be victim/would-be scammer relationship.

But you don’t have to be, well, a senior information developer at a security software company in order to sniff out a phony. Nor should you quit online dating in phear. Just remember what BG says: “be aware, but don’t be scared.”


  1. When I first signed up with match.com, I received a substantial number of suspiscious correspondences.

    The typical response was from someone who was:
    1) in her mid-20s (even though my minimum is set at 30)
    2) very pretty (possibly scanned in magazine photos)
    3) far away (only two were within 50 miles)
    4) poor to mediocre writing skills
    5) had such broad tastes in what she was seeking that just about anyone with a pulse qualified
    6) sent me a generic e-mail (the common trait among all of them)

    In each case, I sent a “no thanks” response. I’m simply not interested in anyone who doesn’t bother to read my profile before e-mailing, regardless of their motives.

    Furthermore, I’d recommend caution when it comes providing financial assistance to any girlfriend, even when you know it’s not a scam. From personal experience, it can foster a lopsided, co-dependent relationship.

    Comment by Karl R — June 1, 2008 @ 2:12 pm

  2. I probably ought to add that match.com seems to have made changes to make this sort of thing more difficult. I didn’t receive any such e-mails in the last 6 months that I was active.

    Comment by Karl R — June 1, 2008 @ 2:15 pm

  3. i never got any sort of scam phishing online dating emails when i was invovled in all the sites i was in (and it was quite a bit!) so maybe it more recently in any case.

    Comment by karen — June 2, 2008 @ 3:40 am

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