If you've used a dating site or app like Ok Cupid or Tinder, you'll have noticed the hundreds of fake profiles that exist on the sites, seemingly designed to make you hand over your profile to scammers.
Dating sites are, thankfully, getting better at spotting who is using their service to send thousands of spam messages.
It's pretty easy to tell: They send the same message over and over, often with the same link.
But there's a type of dating site scam that's far trickier to spot, and the people who operate it claim to be making thousands of dollars every month fooling vulnerable men.
Business Insider obtained a PDF guide that is sold online for just £2.59.
It details how scammers operate fake dating site profiles in order to con men out of money.
Vendors also list guides on how to commit other illegal activities.The documents are often sold for small amounts of money, but the price barrier, the need to pay with Bitcoin, and the fact that they're only available on the deep web prevents the guides from being circulated widely.The document, titled Adhrann's Updated Dating Scam 2014, lays out a method for creating fake dating site profiles, ensnaring men in conversation, and then pressuring them to send money.The author claims that someone who operates the scam can earn up to ,000 (£9,700) every month if they operate the dating scam full-time.Here's the overview of Adhrann's scamming guide: Adhrann advises people following his guide to take care in the way they set up their dating site profile.They should have a burner phone, he says (a disposable phone that can be used for temporary tasks and then discarded).Potential scammers are also advised to use virtual private networks and proxy services, both of which can help hide the scammer's real IP address and location in case law enforcement get involved.So how do you know if someone is trying to scam you?Well, first of all, Adhrann suggests that readers look for certain types of men: "40-60, technical or financial formation (IT, analyst, accountant, consultant, engineer, etc); lonely, or still living with parents, poor social/conversational skills, shy, a bit weird, nerd type, etc." So if that sounds like you, stay alert.Another way to spot whether an account is fake is the selection of photos that it uses.Adhrann's guide says that scammers should "look on the Internet for a bunch of pics of a cute girl" and select someone who is "not a top model, but a normal sexy girl." To find photos, scammers can buy sets of photographs of young women, often through shady forums frequented by hackers.