Scammers Also Use Dating Services To Look For Easy Marks

A reader received a weird message from a fellow Match.com member last night—it was a fairly transparent attempt by someone to establish contact with her via a false identity.

I recently signed up on Match.com and last night got an embarrassingly long and oddly worded email from someone there. At first I was weirded out by the detail in the letter—I mean, let’s face it, most people on dating sites send very tentative short flirtations in case they get rebuffed.

I noticed some of the details were off—like this dude’s profile says he’s in Michigan and he states in his letter he is from Empire State, NY. Even if he’s indeed from NY, who says that? Also, you can see a lot of the grammar is off. I looked at his actual profile and it seemed even weirder—his personal description read very strange about how he lost his father when he was 5 to a very oddly specific description of an illness.

In the profession section he literally says this: “Sgt Mark Edwards, Stationed in Iraq, As you know we are being attacked by insurgents everyday…” So of course I Googled the name and found that that Sgt Mark Edwards is a name used in conjunction with a version of the Nigerian 411 scam. In fact that phrase appears in some versions of the emails sent out.

[Note: a real Staff Sgt. Mark O. Edwards died in Iraq in 2005 from a “non-combat related cause”; it appears certain scammers have randomly picked up his name and started using it. -Ed.]

The guy didn’t actually ask me for any money because I didn’t engage him in conversation at all—but I did report him to Match and they seem to have already removed the profile.

The reason I wanted you tell you is that it freaked me out that these guys are preying on lonely women and I guess men as well in this way. Being single sometimes can suck and it just makes it all a little worse to encounter people like this. Thought your readers should know.

Fortunately, there’s still enough of a cultural and language gap between most of these scammers and the average American that they’re easy enough to spot—but yeah, these people suck.

Below is the message our reader received:

How are you doing. It is a Pleasure sending you an Email My Name is Mark Edwards by name I am from Empire state NY … i am 46 years old,with 1 kid that live with me. I have been single for few years now and Ever since then I have not dated anyone. I am Searching for someone to be with me for the rest of my life,It is better to find a woman that will live with you forever than a woman who will Just be with you for a while..I am Really looking for a soul mate.Well I believe in every person on Earth there is a Perfect soulmate.i love watching movies,dancing,camping,fishing and making new friends… I am a romantic and very content with my life, I just think it would be a lot more fun if there was someone to share it with. I’m a strong, independent man with a great sense of humor and have managed to remain a kid at heart.I like candles and flowers… music and reading bible… (whether it be a lake,stream or the ocean)…sunshine and rainy days…falling leaves (Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year), holding hands…cuddling…walking in the evening and kissing under a street light. I am honest and expect the same in return. I don’t play games or care much for people who do so give me a way to get in touch…. I am looking for a true companion,the missing link in my life. and i am looking for this kind of lady Please, be happy and have a positive attitude. I’m sorry if you’ve had a bad divorced or childhood, but hopefully you will have put that behind you. I hope you will be honest, sensitive and affectionate (being a romantic would be great!).Be prepared though, I may want to take you away for a surprise romantic If you have a strong shoulder for me to lean on and allow me to cry on You ,well,that would be a real bonus! But you should know that I will be there for you a partner (in every sense of the world) who will be there to share the laughter and the tears. If you hold my heart,there is nothing I won’t do for you. I read a profile once that says it all perfectly someone I am excited to spend my the rest of my life with and even more eager to spend my days and nights with"…i am a gentle Man and a kind soul i am looking for a Lady that will be my best friend and my love some one to be with forever plus more if it goes that way, someone who has a positive out look on life,caring,loving, not boring likes to go out and do things even if its just a walk..Am interested in you that’s why i sent you this Message…to tell you that the age does not matters when there’s love…And if u are interested you can add me to your yahoo messenger {markedwards492002} so we could chat more and more or you should send me an email Directly to my personal mail …..here is my yahoo I’m online right now… [match.com address redacted] so bye for now and take good care of your self hope to hear from u soon.

Mark.

Here are some other examples of fake Mark Edwards emails from 2006, 2007, and 2009.

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