Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door

Skype Scammers


Dear Monica,

Every day I am receiving odd messages and requests to connect from military Generals and high ranking Colonels on Skype.  They are looking for a girlfriend and I’m very upset because they are creeping me out and I don’t understand why they keep contacting me.  How do they find me and what can I do to make them stop contacting me? 


Happily Married

Dear Happily Married,

Skype does have a very high amount of scammers that target females.  The scammers typically make themselves appear to be high ranking military personnel and claim to be looking for love or just a nice friend on Skype.  The most effective way to stop them from contacting you is you can simply click on “Block” and “Report Abuse” when they contact you.  Next, you can change your Skype profile to not show your gender as female.  Another good idea, is to change your Skype profile to not show your personal image and instead show something professional and generic that does not scream out “I am a Female & possibly Single or Divorced.”  I know that sounds silly, but it is what it is.  I’ve experimented with various social engineering tactics for a few years and the Skype scammers completely stopped contacting me when my profile picture was a large no-nonsense silverback gorilla instead of my own smiling face.

Skype scammers all have a desperate emotional story, with hopes of tricking their victims into sharing personal information.  Women that have been victimized typically just wanted a friend they could talk with every day.  They were tricked into sending personal info and money to help a scammer out of a fake dire time sensitive disaster.  When the women stopped sending money, the scammers threatened the women with blackmail, extortion, and various threats. 

A quick search on google will show you the history and most recent Skype scams.  In the past year, most of the scammers created a fake profile that made them look like a high ranking military general that is lonely and looking for love on Skype.  I think it›s a good idea to not play the scam games because many people have been seriously hurt and it›s so much easier to just «Block» and «Report Abuse» when a Skype scammer tries to connect with you.

Send your comments and questions about Internet technologies and computers to and I’ll do my best to answer you in future stories.


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