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"She" also followed a number of potential victims, including an accountant in Saskatoon.

Among her follower was an account that was using images stolen from the Instagram account of a Marine veteran and personal fitness coach from California.

Thousands of accounts involved in the ongoing campaign have been suspended.

But that has hardly put a dent in the efforts of scammers, who move on to set up new accounts and run new scams.

Typically, the scammers will claim to be from obscure but relatable places—places that their targets would likely not know much about—or to be deployed overseas in the military.

In the case above, "she" claimed to be from Michigan and, when pressed for more details, said she was originally from "Newcastle UK." "She" could not provide coherent details about either location.

And the potential malicious uses of faked social media profiles were somewhat controversially demonstrated by Robin Casey and Thomas Ryan's "Robin Sage" experiment in December of 2009, using photos of an actress from a pornography website to create a profile for a fictional Navy "cyber threat analyst." According to "her" profiles, "Robin Sage" was 25 years old and an MIT graduate with more than 10 years of work experience in the cybers (meaning she had been in the game since the tender age of 15).

She garnered more than 300 Facebook "friends" and Linked In connections across the defense and information security communities, got offers to do consulting work at Google and Lockheed Martin, and received a number of dinner invitations.

They follow a fairly easy-to-spot pattern for anyone who has tracked identity scams.

But the scale of these efforts goes far beyond what you'd expect from what are (to those in the know) recognizable cons.

Often, the scammers will attempt to move the target off Twitter to another "secure" communications channel that reveals more personal information.

"Rose" responded to a comment I made about Nigerian scammers by trying immediately to steer our interaction to Hangouts or Whats App.

Although flirting is more common, others are more direct.

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