New Skype scam uses chat bots: Fake webcam girls want your credit card information

Have you ever received a contact request on Skype from someone you don’t know? This may happen from time to time, particularly if your Skype name is publically searchable. But what is really behind these contact requests and why do people bother? To find that out we played along and the following conversation ensued:

skype scam 1

At first sight it appears to be someone looking for companion. But the dialogue is suspiciously general, questions are never really answered and the responses don’t allow for a meaningful discussion of any kind. When asking “Are you a bot” the invariable answer is “lol no i’m not a bot silly.”

The contact in our example has listed their birthdate as 1980, but claims to be 25 years old. That doesn’t add up either and when we ask about it, the question is completely ignored.

All this makes it obvious that instead of chatting with a real person we are in fact dealing with a chat bot. And this begs the question, why would a chat bot be interested in a human companion? Surely not for an engaging conversation… The answer to that question becomes clear when we look at the link the helpful Eva sent us when she offered her “free passes”. We are asked to sign up to what appears to be an X-rated video chat site:

skype scam 2

It looks like our Eva is in fact Nancy, but who cares about such minor details when it appears we have a free date? Lets move on to the registration:

skype scam 3

This looks like a standard registration form, so lets complete it and click Continue:

skype scam 4

Now wait a second, our credit card information is required and that’s not what we had agreed to. Why would we need to provide payment details if “today’s charge is $0.00″ anyway? There goes our free date and at the same time this reveals the true aim of this scam: credit card fraud.

“Safe Secure Encrypted” sounds good, but unfortunately we are not convinced of the accuracy of this statement. The site doesn’t even use the HTTP secure protocol (which would give the URL the “https://…” prefix), so our dating adventure ends here.

Its all about the money

While chat bots may have a legitimate purpose (such as leaving an automated message when you are offline), that isn’t the case here. The only purpose of chat bots like the one we encountered, is to trick people into signing up and submitting their credit card details insecurely. Whoever gains access to the requested information (name, card number, CVC/CVV code and so on) can use your credit card on the internet for whatever they want. That’s a chilling thought, as scammers won’t waste any time in getting their hands on your money.

If you have become the victim of a (suspected) credit card scam, it is recommended that you contact your credit card provider (bank or financial institution) as soon as possible. They can block your card immediately and will tell you what steps you need to undertake to regain access to it.

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  • ElliotNess29

    Good article Evan! Very helpful for skype users to be aware of these scams. This is not being done by real adult camgirls. It is the big adult industry webcam website trying to trick customers to their website and stealing their CC info for fraudulent use.They play games with the CC to bring customers to their paid camming sites.They are trying to control their webcam performers from making the full percent of their shows on skype by faking camgirls and ripping off people so to damage the performers possible businesses.These adult webcam sites give the performers only 35% or less for their private shows but on skype the performers can make up to 90% and don’t get their shows recorded by these adult webcam sites who sell them without paying the performers their share. These types of games and CC skimming is fraud and needs to be reported to the FBI for investigation. Real skype camgirls don’t come to you and they always tell you to pay for a one on one show. Stay away from the live adult webcam websites. Want to read about their games and treatment of performers just go to amanda36c’s blog on wordpress, she doesn’t pull punches! .

  • Joe

    I am talking to a skype chat bot at the moment who wants me to go to another website and sign up with my credit card details. It is really quite brilliant. It did initially feel like i was talking to a real person. But then i started repeating questions and they started generating the exactly same response. When I asked why i couldnt just chat with them on video on skype the question was ignored.

  • C Reative Lion

    I faced it yesterday :D
    But i rejected :)

  • Veni Vidi Vici

    One way to quickly know it’s a BOT is too say something in French most don’t have translation software “Yet” most people will say I don’t know any French…Years ago I did this and knew right away I was not talking to a human. But all this stealth advertisement pisses me off because every time I want to commit on a new site I have to type those stupid letters…

  • Tim Clark

    I remember this from before yahoo chat and msn chat. It’s easy to catch if you know the signs.

  • shady_lady

    Today I was added by a chat bot. The answers were really similar to the screenshot in this article. The bot ignores questions and the answers are really suspicious.