The Fox 9 Investigators reveal that social engineering is the reason many people fall for scams online.

(KMSP) – If you ever wondered how someone can fall for a scam on the internet, blame social engineering.
Jean thought a dating site for people over 50 would be a safe place to meet a nice guy.

“[He] sounded like he had a good background, hard worker,” she said.

Instead, the Minnesota woman found a man who conned her out of a small fortune, $32,000, before they even met in person.

Chris Hadnagy is a professional social engineer who hears this all the time.

He is an expert at understanding why reasonable people fall for outrageous scams.

When you look at any type of an attack that plays on people’s emotions or desires, it’s not stupidity that takes over, it’s chemical reactions and realities,

Hadnagy said.

Fredrick used classic social engineering to make child’s play of Jean’s good intentions.

He began by telling Jean he was born in Germany but moved to Mankato as a young boy. He said he was currently working as a manager of a big construction project in Turkey.

Jean admits he was as charming on the phone as he was in his emails.

Over a period of several months they shared intimate emails and he texted or called daily.

A message from him played: “Please call me. I miss you. Can’t wait to see you.”

It got to a point where Frederick told Jean he was coming back to Minnesota to meet her, then he asked her for money for a plane ticket.

That is where the social engineering really kicked in.

Jean believed Frederick when he asked for the money.

She deposited cash into an account he had at Wells Fargo Bank.

“I should have stopped there,” Jean said.

He then called to say he was being detained at the Turkish airport by police because he owed three year’s worth of back rent, so she sent him more money.

According to Jean, he needed even more cash to pay other expenses before he could get on that plane to come to visit her.

Read the full article here.

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