Well, it looks like it was a lucky thing that I checked back on this page.
I see the scammers have found the page, and are trying to confuse the topic. Presumably one of the other men corresponding with 'Irina Mikheeva' from Kazan, has sent 'her' the link and asked 'what is going on?'. Not the brightest of things to do, since it just lets the scammers do damage control, but there we go.
Just remember that it is not only New Zealand reporting this scammer, You also have a report from Mexico (2007-04-19, 01:52:41), the United States (2007-04-14, 16:35:42), and one other (2007-04-18, 15:36:01). Take note of the country flag next to some of the postings on this page. The website is tracking back the IP address and can show where it comes from. Be suspicious of any posting that does not have a flag next to it. Perhaps the site administrator will track back the IP address of some of the anonymous postings for us.
I am aware that a number of men who have corresponded with 'Irina Mikheeva' from Kazan, will find this page, over the coming weeks/months and I don't want them to have the slightest doubt that we're talking about a scammer. If you are one of those men - go and find an anti-scam guide for men seeking a russian wife, and read it NOW. By the time I received the third email, I'd already flagged the profile with Elenas Models. Then it was a matter of continuing the correspondence and seeing where it went.
This is a SOPHISTICATED and ORGANISED scam, for reasons which I'll explain below. I don't want to give away too much, as the scammers will read this too, and could potentially fix their flaws. Hopefully the information will explain why our scammer is participating in the forum - they have a lot of time and money invested in this scam.
Firstly, yes, it is likely there is an 'Irina Mikheeva'. A girl fronted up at the Elenas Models agent, and provided sufficient proof that they gave her profile 'CONFIRMED' status. That's pretty ballsy, to send someone into a reputable agency, to get that 'CONFIRMED' status.
Elenas Models says: 'We can guarantee that the lady has a valid contact information and that she agreed to our terms and conditions meaning that all her submitted information is true. We talk to the ladies on the phone, some of them come to our office in person having their documents(the profiles with the sign CONFIRMED) with them, or they send the documents to us. We talked to this lady on the phone as well.'
Interesting, that Elenas Models had more luck phoning than any of the men in 'Irina's' life. 'Irina' doesn't have a local phone in the apartment because she is so poor she cannot afford it. She cannot use her family's phone, because she is an orphan, from the State Orphanage. She managed to borrow her friend's cellphone +79613335997 for 30 minutes, to receive 1 phonecall from me, on April 4th 3 pm Moscow local time.
I still think Elenas Models is a reputable agency, but I think they have specifically been targeted, to get that 'CONFIRMED' label. Elenas Models says: 'We can only guarantee that the ladies are real, we can't guarantee their behaviour. We can check if the person is real but their morals, ethics, manners and goals can only be found out over the period of time and during personal communication.'
Secondly, these letters are unbelievably well written, they even know the western colliquialisms. The poster of 2007-04-21, 15:47:11 uses the word 'eloquent', which I think describes the quality. So how does one become 'eloquent', as 'Irina' says 'You know in Russia all English-spoken movies are made with a translation of professional interpreteurs. But the key is that the translation comes in 1-2 seconds after the English phrase of an actor. and while the delay I was listerning the phrase and then I've got it's interpretaion in Russian. That's all. Frankly speaking I'ma very big fan of cinema and I've seen a lot of movies to understand spoken English.'
I'd estimate in the beginning, they spent over 4 hours per letter, using excellent English, and making sure they answered every question; and this went on for several weeks. These are not your normal form letter scams. Someone is investing a lot of money into this one. That's why there was little point in putting the letters up online ... there are very few key phrases that can be searched for. People might search for the email addresses though, so here they are: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org .
I did find this paragraph, that still makes me smile, a girl that Immigrations offices would consider 'high-risk' because of no family, no savings, no steady job, no phone, has found an agent who can get her a tourist visa, for only 10,000 rubles.
'Irina' says:- 'Please think about the way the agent suggested and advised as most appropriate in our case. He gave me to read a contract that I will have to sign to use their service. I didn't do that, I just read it. It was told that the agency will help in getting all the necessary documents and forms for application of a visa and will provide all the necessary help in this process. They will give me all the information and will support at any step. They will also help me to get an international passport. In common words they will do everything and all we need is to make plans of exact dates of a meeting. I was told that we should discuss the details and they will solve all the problems as heir experience is high enough to be sure say such loud words. Plus manager assured me about success if we'll do everything using their agency and the way he advised and suggested. And they will take a fee of 10000 rubles. That is really very high but I think it is better to use professional service with guaranties they will do everything in proper way otherwise they wouldn't get their fees.'
The agent obviously has experience because 'he said that usually a man is helping financially to his woman and I should talk to you about that.'
I would emphasise again, that Elenas Models is a reputable agency. They say: 'We warn them about the possibility of being deleted from our website and put on the black list if they ask for money.'
Thirdly most Russian women don't route their email via US internet service providers, or use a secure X-Mailer, that encrypts local messages. Like I said, very sophisticated.
Fri, 16 Mar 2007 15:53:36 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from [18.104.22.168] ([22.214.171.124]:34567
X-Mailer: SecureBat! Lite (v2.12.4) Personal
Tue, 20 Mar 2007 09:09:06 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from chello089079019111.chello.pl ([126.96.36.199]:23559
Tue, 20 Mar 2007 09:51:52 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from [188.8.131.52] ([184.108.40.206])
Fri, 23 Mar 2007 15:16:22 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from [220.127.116.11] ([18.104.22.168]:17156
Sat, 31 Mar 2007 08:12:13 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from [22.214.171.124] ([126.96.36.199]:34321
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2007 17:42:20 +0400
Received: from 74-136-193-131.dhcp.insightbb.com ([188.8.131.52]:55561
Thu, 05 Apr 2007 07:59:22 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from cpe-024-167-138-216.triad.res.rr.com ([184.108.40.206]:15884
Mon, 09 Apr 2007 23:05:31 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from cpe-24-162-142-96.hot.res.rr.com ([220.127.116.11]
Sat, 14 Apr 2007 12:31:48 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from cpe-66-69-34-149.satx.res.rr.com ([18.104.22.168]:516
Finally, you will note that Mexico (2007-04-19, 01:52:41) reports 'she requested my help to open an account in www.epassporte.com to create a way to sell her artwork and collect the money from customers'. The scammer needs help because 'For security purposes, ePassporte Account Holders from Latvia, Malaysia, Moldova, Pakistan, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, and Vietnam are subject to limited Account Features.'
If you are thinking of doing it, DONT, unless you want to be an accessory to money laundering for crime syndicates.
So why did it end? Funnily enough, they chose to end it, because whoever wrote the last letter, included a reply to someone else. Simple cut/paste mistake, we've all made them, got interrupted, forgot where we were, and then pressed 'send'. I've thought about it, and decided to include the text of the reply, because perhaps this is YOU. You may not believe what I'm saying about your 'Irina'; scammers are masters of human psychology, and very convincing. I apologise for showing your letter, but here we go then:-
> It's Thursday evening and almost 10pm. The kids are with me
> tonight and will be until Sunday afternoon. I started getting sick
> two nights ago and I'm ready to go to bed but I wanted to just write
> and say hello.
Please try to keep yourself fit. I don't want to get ill. I will worry
> The weather has been unusually cool for 2 weeks and
> often rainy.
We have the same thing here. It's been raining for about a week
already. No sun, only rain all day long.
> I guess I just got run down and the cold air weakened
> my immune system enough that I have that achy sensation with sinus
You should be careful with your health. It is one of most valuable
things we have in life.
> I have to get up at 5:45am when my kids sleep here on a
> school night because my daughter catches the bus by 6:50am. My son
> can sleep later because his school is close to the house and it
> starts later too. I always eat breakfast with my daughter and we
> talk about her school or just a father/daughter discussion. I have
> a very good relationship with both of them and believe me I've seen
> some big changes in my daughter over the past 2 years. I don't want
> to see my kids grow up too fast but I can't keep them little
I can understand that. I think parents would always like their kids
little. I think the key is in balance. Not to disturb kids from living
their own life but at the same time give them a good advice and to be
their close friend.
> Tonight I picked up chinese food from a different chinese
> restaurant but actually we go to this one most often because it's
> closest to our house.
Sounds you are having a good time there.
> Tomorrow is Friday and I'm ready for the
> weekend to come.
Any special plans for weekends?
> Next Wednesday evening is my monthly stock meeting
> so beginning this weekend I'll start thinking about what I want to
> discuss. The stock market has been doing ok, but not great.
> Overall, my stock selections have been doing better than the overall
> market and I feel pretty good about that. I still need to get more
> large accounts but gradually I'm picking up more and more business
> as I continue making money for my clients.
I hope it will go well for you and your clients will be pleased with
all you do for them.
> I know this hasn't been about us or about my feelings but I
> hope you can see with each letter a little more about me that helps
> round out a picture as to the type of person I am or how I think
> about different topics.
Yes, I see you are a person who is interested in many things. And I
> I hope you have the chance soon to respond
> but I do understand your situation so I'm patient with you....
I write you back as soon as possible.
And I hope this letter will bring you some joy also.
Let me now finish it as it is very late and I'm afraid it wouldn't be
very safe for me to come back home so early.
Let me wish you a good day and I hope you'll recover soon.
My kisses to you, Irina.
I won't be continuing this discussion any more; I won't be driven by a scammer's agenda and I'm sure more proof will come over time.
In summary, for the newbies:
- Elenas Models is a reputable agency
- If you haven't already, read an anti-scam guide for men seeking a russian wife
- Never send money or transfer money for anyone
- If you wish to 'scambait' check out http://www.419eater.com,
Play safe, never provide real personal information