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Net scam comes from Russia with love

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Scammers are hunting dating sites in the attempt to lure fresh victims. Instead of the lads from Lagos its the scammers from Siberia who've invaded match.com, reports Reg reader 'Hot Lips'.

You may see where this is heading: Boy meet girl. Girl says she lives in New York, before claiming to be a dental technician from Omsk who needs dosh to get over to USA. Complications ensue. It's an old story and probably the basis of the plot for a forthcoming Woody Allan movie. But we digress.

The attempted scam kicked off after Hot Lips received a seemingly innocent email from a potential match on Match.com (via a kosher account) from someone who initially claimed to live in New York City. We'll let our correspondent pick up the story from there...

After some correspondence, 'she', confessed that 'she' actually lived in Omsk, Russia. This was all accompanied by some very nice pictures of someone. Anyway, the sordid story continues and 'she' decides she loves me so much that 'she' wants to come and see me but, alas, 'she' can't afford the airfare. However, 'she' knows a really cheap travel agent that will cut a great deal if we book right now ('Her' birthday's coming up - did I mention that?) and I stump up $1,000 cash for it. The travel agents send me a bizarre email for the tickets and even has a link to a not so convincing web site. I checked on Travelocity and the tickets are near $2,500, so it's a real bargain, if you are interested.

No thanks, Hot Lips, but do go on...

The latest is that she's been sent away on business by her boss (she's a dentist). How many traveling dentists do you know?

I know I'm being naughty, but I couldn't resist it, because I sent 'her' an e-mail telling 'her' that 'she' didn't have to worry about flying all the way to see me because I'm coming to see 'her'.

Hot Lips promised to tell us of any developments. Perhaps Siberian scammer ribbing will join 419-fraudster baiting on the list of fraud-busting internet pastimes. ®

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