Scammers Chose The Photos They Do Because They Are Targeting A Certain Kind Of Victim!
Man or Women, they target their victims carefully.
When an African scammer selects a stolen photo to use in a fake dating profile, they are looking for specific type of victim. They are looking for someone that comes with built-in vulnerabilities.
They are looking for someone that comes with built-in vulnerabilities. This may be difficult to hear, but we all have vulnerabilities, especially when we get older and life is moving quickly.
They are looking for a victim that is very lonely, and can be triggered to make rapid and hasty decisions based upon the appearance of the fake person in the photos. Sometimes this will be a paternal or maternal trigger (meaning protective). Sometimes it will be flat-out lust. Regardless of the trigger, they want victims that they can work up relatively quickly, usually in less than 30 days.
The reason for the speed is the business model of the scammers. They have a large number of victims to work - since it is a game of percentages. It is estimated that less than 1% will take the hook, and of those less than 5% will send any money. So they have to troll for a large number of victims to make their living - most are making a god living too! The irony is that these scammers are great salesmen, if only they applied their talents to legitimate sales.
Criteria when selecting their photos:
- Appropriate age to attract a target victim
- In the case of Men they should look normal and safe. In the case of Women, they should be very attractive and potentially very sexy.
- Women should look vulnerable but slutty. Men should look vulnerable and dependable or solid.
- Blondes tend to work better, which is why you will see more of them. They seem confused by redheads, and rarely use them. Of course any race and coloration work, it just depends on their targets.
- Blue eyes (though they call them Hazel more often than not).
- No scars. Physical beauty in women is a guaranty for them. Men should look normal, no scars either.
- Tattoos are also confusing for them, so you see few photos with tattoos as the main photo on a fake profile - though they will share them later.
- They may also alter the photo, since they have learned that porn star or model's photos are too good. They prefer Facebook since they tend to be easier to steal and more normal.
- Driving or sitting in a car - they seem to think this is disarming.
- Holding a pet - pets are always good to disarm their victims.
- Children - somewhat rare to see a fake profile with a woman showing a child - this occurs in a small percentage of fake profiles, but they are a few. You find children used more with Nigerian scammers than Ghanaian. In the case of men, you find this much more often - this symbolizes stability, safety, and trustworthiness.
- Normal but fashionable dress for Women, and business or rugged clothes for men. Military uniforms are dangerous for the scammer, since they really know nothing about the real military, but they do try them from time to time.
Understanding how scammers think can help you prepare for your scammer contact. Always probe, always question - real people don't mind real questions, especially about locations and details in the photos you are seeing. People who travel love to talk about their adventures and trips. Never be afraid of offending the other person, just be honest yourself and explain that you are just trying to know them better.
Remember, scammers need a hook, and they chose their photos to help with that hook. If they mention dead parents, or any emergency of any type - RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN! Real people do have real emergencies, but generally they take care of their own issues and don't involve strangers out of pride, if nothing else.
However, if any mention of money comes up before you have met them - also run away.
As always, it's about common sense. Try to be cautious, and don't give away clues that they can use against you too early. Online dating is a process, that requires constant reinforcement and predictability. Anything out of the ordinary should be treated as a red flag and cause concern and further investigation.