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Or they may ask you to pay fees, charges or taxes to 'help release or transfer the money out of the country' through your bank.

These fees may even start out as quite small amounts.

Spread the word to your friends and family to protect them.

Holden said that an enterprising fraudster with the right programming skills or the funds to hire a coder could easily automate the scam using bots that are programmed to respond to emails from the targets with content-specific replies.The dating scam package is assembled for and marketed to Russian-speaking hackers, with hundreds of email templates written in English and a variety of European languages.Many of the sample emails read a bit like Mad Libs or choose-your-own-adventure texts, featuring decision templates that include advice for ultimately tricking the mark into wiring money to the scammer.“When you get down to the final stage, there has to be a crisis, some compelling reason why the target should you send the money,” said Holden, founder of Hold Security [full disclosure: Yours Truly is an uncompensated adviser to Holden’s company].“Usually this is something like the girl is stranded at the airport or needs money to get a travel visa.You will never be sent the money that was promised.

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