I had a profile posted on an American dating web site and a female from my area answered me.
Her letter was a few lines long, in good English and she seemed honest and cute, so I replied.
The letter said she had a read-only trial account and would not be able to receive messages,
so she included a yahoo email address. She asked me to write to this yahoo email address.
I did this and a few days later her trial account was gone, she explained that she deleted
it because she found me. (that is what she answered, when I asked her about it)
This girl claimed to live in Kazan, Tartastan, 26 years old and called herself Barbi.
There was something suspicious about her letters, in particular I always had the
impression that she did not really read mine every time. Sometimes she wrote
personal, matching replies, then sometimes not. her photos of which she sent
about 25 so far, had number like 5.jpg, 6.jpg, 35.jpg etc.
Yesterday I did a query for some phrases of some of her emails and found them
posted on 2 other web sites. Apparently she wrote identical letters to other guys
using different names and different pictures. She or he asked those guys for money,
supposedly for tickets or visa paperwork. I guess I am lucky that she never asked
me for any money. However, I felt fooled when I saw "my" emails had also been
sent in parts to other guys.
For that reason I will post her here letters. I know that parts of these letters
have been posted on 2 other sites, but not all.
I include the full headers in the first email. The sender comes from a russian
dial-up but in another email I sent her a URL to one of my web sites and apparantly
"she" uses some sort of satellite DSL for the downstream, the IP number was
84.xx (to be filled in later).
Authentication-Results: mta251.mail.mud.yahoo.com from=yahoo.com; domainkeys=neutral (no sig)
Received: from 220.127.116.11 (EHLO aqua.relinfo.ru) (18.104.22.168)
by mta251.mail.mud.yahoo.com with SMTP; Wed, 07 Sep 2005 23:02:29 -0700
Received: from [22.214.171.124] (92.214.dialup.mari-el.ru [126.96.36.199])
by aqua.relinfo.ru (8.12.11/8.12.11) with ESMTP id j885LxCa024528
for ; Thu, 8 Sep 2005 09:28:33 +0400 (MSD)
Hello Peter! Have good day? The computer in service of acquaintances
found to me Some profiles of people which coincide with my inquiry. I
Preliminary studied them and has decided to send you to the first the
message Because your profile seems to me more interesting. I hope,
that You have time to send me some messages that we could it is better
to learn about each other. I shall tell a little about myself; my age
of 26 years old and my birthday on On July, 22. I was not married and
I live in an apartment with my parents. Some years, after the ending
of training I work seller of home appliances in a supermarket. To me
To like productive leisure, periodically go in for sports for
maintenance of a body. I like to travel and be in different places,
but My work does not allow me to do it frequently. I have many
friends, We sometimes together spend time, play billiards and tennis,
we have Other entertainment. I send you the picture that you knew my
person. Me very much like different sweet things, such as a pie, cake,
sweet. But frequently I do not permit itself to have it to not be
thick. Still I love beautiful clothes and different things of light
colours. I like of light tone, such as light-blue, pink, beige. And
what your favourite colour? Please Ask things interesting you about me
and inform me some The information on you: what you love an
entertainment? What your character? What You love qualities in women?
Whether You had the wife? I shall answer on your questions and to
inform you it is more about itself in following e-mail! I shall be To
wait for your messages. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org I with
impatience shall wait letter from you and I shall answer you at once
as soon as you to me write. it will be pleasant for me to see your new
photos and to learn a lot of new about you. Write to me I wait. Your
Dear mine , where you were gone, why any more do not write me
the letters, I wait already what is the time, and them all no.
There can be I you something has offended? Write to me please.
With impatience I wait Barbi.
Hi Peter! Have good day! Peter, you ask, where I live - to To regret
it is far from you. Otherwise it was not necessary for us much e-mail,
To learn each other. I for the first time have acquaintance through
the Internet. It was very difficult to me to place my structure in a
service of acquaintances, because I am in Russia, the service of
acquaintances does not accept the members from this country. I had to
specify in a profile, that I am in USA. In this letter I shall inform
you a little information myself and if the dialogue with me will be
interesting to you, I shall tell about myself in more detail in the
following letters. I live in an average part of Russia, in city Kazan
in Tatarstan republic. But if we shall decide to meet, I hope, that it
not Will be a problem for us because I have made a little Travel to
other countries. I was in the several countries of Europe; For example
Turkey, Italy, Germany. I made these travel as The tourist. Therefore
Peter, you should not have excitement be relative That we not beside.
I such woman, that if I shall like The person for a meeting I shall
reach even on the moon. Besides in Our days is not a problem to make
such travel. I not I worry about it and I have necessary feelings to
get acquainted and it is possible To have relations with the person of
other state. It is very interesting - Other culture, thinking,
traditions. For me this new-Probably and you Peter Can learn, that
such the Russian woman. I hope that you have not lost interest to me
and will answer me soon. I wait for yours e-mail, my American friend.
HI Peter! I am pleased to receive your reciprocal message. For me it
was pleasant to receive the letter from you today. I am very glad that
you have written to me. Thank for your picture, it me to like. I shall
be To increase and to unpack it. I liked absolutely all your pictures.
That picture with the clown really amusing! What small little mouse!
You have made absolutely correctly, that have not listened to the
neighbour and have let off that little mouse. Peter You e-mail means
for me, that I too was interesting to you. You Really Peter, see a
picture of me nice? Peter, at me is present to you It is a lot of
questions and I would like to ask them in the messages, I hope you
Will allow to me answers to them - OK? You for me the nice person, And
on this for me it is important to know your opinion on some things. Me
to not irritate, that you to be more senior than me. I to search for
the mature man, which would be to wise and scientific life. I like the
men which is more senior than me and can learn me to something in this
short life. I to want to connect destiny with the man of such age as
you. I think, that you read my structure and could see there, that I
haves serious intentions to get acquainted with the good person for
relations . I shall try to tell a little about my character. I do not
know as it to start, I think, that I very romantic person. I like to
communicate with people, it is pleasant to me Good humour. I very much
appreciate such qualities in people, as fidelity and honesty. I
believe in love, and I think it very valuable thing which needs to be
protected. I very much The jealous person. I adore, when to me pay
compliments and is ready to listen to them indefinitely. For me it is
necessary, that around of me there was a cleanliness and the order, I
frequently am engaged cleaning. Also to me to like to prepare for a
meal, various tasty things. It is pleasant to me romantic relations
between the man and The woman, but probably all women dream to get
acquainted with good The person to have with him beautiful romantic
relations. But frequently such things come to an end Very quickly. I
have no intention to spend myself on such acquaintances. While I have
not met In the life of such person to which I would decide to give
myself and the life. But me it would be desirable to find such person.
I think, that for the woman the main thing to have in a life not
Career or other success, and strong family and the favourite person
beside what to care of him. Tell please, you dream to meet what woman
in the life? Excuse Peter, that I ask you to discuss such frank thing
with The person whom you know couple of days. But it is interesting to
me to know It about you. I shall wait for yours e-mail. Yours
Hi , I was sad that you do not write me and do not answer on my
letters. There can be I you than that has offended or you simply play
with me in games? I wait from you of the answer. Yours Barbi.
At that point I had started to ignore her because her letters were ridiculous, not reflecting what I had written.
However, things picked up then again..
It looks like I've been hit the same type of emails from a russian named Anna Muraweva. She said she's from Berezovka in the Permskaja Region. Latest email is asking for $1000 for tickets. Sorry but I'm recently unemployed and widowed. Take about a kick in the butt twice in the same month.
anonymous from United States
Yeah I got the same letter: so beware fellas, only she goes buy the name Tanya!
Hi Jay! Have good day!. Thank that you have answered to me. The
computer in service of acquaintances found to me some structures of
people which coincide with my inquiry. I preliminary studied them and
has decided to send you to the first the message because your
structure seems to me more interesting. I hope, that You have time to
send me some messages that we could it is better to find out each
other. I shall tell a little about myself; my age of 26 years old , my
name is Tanya. I have no children and pets. I was not married and I
live in an apartment of my parents. I like home cosiness and I dream
to meet a man who I can share all my life with. Some years, after the
ending of training I work nurse in children's hospital. To me to like
productive leisure, periodically go in for sports for maintenance of a
body. I like to travel and be in different places, but my work does
not allow me to do it frequently. I have many friends, we sometimes
together spend time, play billiards and tennis, we have other
entertainment. I send you the picture that you knew my person. Also I
want to ask you to send me some pictures of you. Please ask things
interesting you about me and inform me some the information on you:
what you love an entertainment? What your character? What You love
qualities in women? Whether You had the wife? I shall answer on your
questions and to inform you it is more about itself in following
E-mail!Jay, you ask, where I live - to regret it is far from you.
Otherwise it was not necessary for us much e-mail, to learn each
other. I live in an average part of Russia, in city Kazan. But if we
shall decide to meet, I hope, that it not will be a problem for us
because I have made a little travel to other countries. I was in the
several countries of Europe; for example Turkey, Egypt. I made these
travel as the tourist. Therefore Jay, you should not have excitement
be relative that we not beside. I such woman, that if I shall like the
person for a meeting I shall reach even on the moon. Besides in our
days is not a problem to make such travel. I not I worry about it and
I have necessary feelings to get acquainted and it is possible to have
relations with the person of other state. It is very interesting -
other culture, thinking, traditions. For me this new- probably and you
Jay can learn , that such the Russian woman. You also you ask
concerning other address in my structure; first I specified in a
structure the country, but then a computer of service acquaintances
did not accept my structure and informed, that I tried enter the
information once again. I did it still few times, but it again asked
me to do new attempt. Then I did experiment and specified in a
structure, that I from other country and my structure at once was it
is accepted. I think, that it or a mistake with programs of a computer
or this the service of acquaintances works not with each country. On
it I stop the letter. Write and ask questions. I shall wait for yours
anonymous from United Kingdom
Does any one know this email address, im leaving out the last bit to protect her just in case she is genuine
elena_free@**********. Comes from Kazan and says she needs $600 for visa, i'm sure its a scam so i wont be fooled.
Onto 14th email and she asks for money
She can't get a visa to the UK without tickets as well (and insurance, hotel rooms IN ADVANCE). She should be asking you for 700-800 quid or so. Check the visa requirements for the UK if you don't believe me. (you can find them on the British Embassy website in Moscow).
sorry OJAS, but i have to post it:
To any newcomers who find this thread, for Christ's sake... READ THIS!
...and save yourself a lot of grief/homework
SOME GENERAL INFO ABOUT RUSSIAN GIRLS, AND HOW TO SPOT RUSSIAN DATING SCAMMERS:
The vast majority of Russian dating scammers are actually men, mostly working in small gangs in or around Yoshkar Ola, in Mari El republic, sometimes in Chuvashia. It's virtually guaranteed that the girls in these scam pics aren't involved because the scammers steal their pics from the internet or pay unsuspecting friends for them, or buy and exchange them on scammer websites. (Once a scammer even admitted to me that he stole all his pics from army-of-brides.com and mamba.ru ).
Most scammers are VERY lazy and looking for quick cash. They use email extractor programs to get your mail addresses (if you don't have a profile on a dating site, that is), and copied form mails and spam programs on automatic reply, very often the BAT!, which can personalize small parts of each letter. They mostly won't read your letters until after the money letter because they don't have time, ie because they're scamming, or trying to scam, as many guys as they can (economies of scale).....and also because they're semi-literate losers who can't speak much English anyway. IN OTHER WORDS, you can write any crap in your replies and they won't react, they're only interested when they're curious to know if you've taken the bait after the money letter. A girl is only involved either occasionally to phone a guy up, especially if he's suspicious, or to pick up the loot at Western Union, with a false ID of course!
More recently, the majority of Russian scammers have started using proxy servers or forged IPs to hide their locations so ALL YOU REALLY NEED TO DO IS TRACE THEIR IP ADDRESS!
So....if several or more of the following scam signs apply to your Boris (the beautiful Russian 'girl' that is supposedly writing to you), resist the temptation to help 'the poor girl' by sending her money. You're really writing to a sleazy Russian guy sitting in a smoky room in Yoshkar Ola, with a bunch of other sleazy guys spamming indiscriminately on laptops .
# 'girl' writes to you first on a dating site...especially a free one (or an email appears out of nowhere in your mailbox). Real Russian girls are rarely so bold as to write to you first. (unless you're obviously very attractive or rich :))) They will often reply to your mails, but rarely take the initiative. It's the man who does the chasing in Russia. Plus, if they're looking for a partner, they generally prefer him to be Russian speaking and live in Russia. Much more convenient!
# doesn't answer direct questions (sometimes factual mistakes in the letter). Her replies should be exactly that...replies...however short they are.
# girl's much too young for you (or too good to be true/looks like a model/porno star)....although I have noticed a recent tendency for some scammers to use photos of slightly 'less attractive' girls as well.
# girl has some far-fetched excuses for you not visiting her in Russia (criminal city, not the Russian custom, terrorism, it's her dream to come to your country, etc). ALL BULLSHIT!! Actually, the normal way to meet a Russian girl is to visit her in her city first. Russian TV is full of documentaries about Russian girls who have emigrated and got murdered, abandoned, etcetc. They should usually want to meet you first before they gallivant off to your country.
# scammers rarely have children, but most of the real Russian women I've ever met on the internet did (except for Moscow career girls). It's often the reason that they're looking for a partner.
# photos are too revealing (can't be a respectable girl). Respectability is very important to most Russian women (especially Moscow career girls). They're hardly likely to send a half-naked photo to a virtual stranger on the internet. Think about it!
# most of the pics are old and a little bit faded with a curiously grainy quality that soon becomes quite easy to recognise (overuse?). Again a scammer admitted to me that low-quality photos are a key factor in his scamming. I found this curious because a serious Russian girl who's looking for a partner very often saves up and goes to a professional to have a studio set done (often corny ones posing with a chair etc), and/or borrows a digicam at least (dates should also be on the photos you receive). My fiancée did it. Russian girls aren't all that poor anymore, and if they seriously want to leave Russia, they know that posting cheap pics will only attract cheap guys.
# GIRL CLAIMS NOT TO HAVE A MOBILE PHONE. Very unlikely!!! fer f***'s sake.....do you know a single girl without a mobile phone? Even poor Russian girls can't do without one, they're much cheaper than in Europe and a Megafon telephone card doesn't cost that much either. You should be able to call her whenever you want. On the other hand, not having a landline or a desktop/laptop is very common.
# very long rambling/ecstatic form letters with a strange format, punctation and layout written in scamlish. (world's worst Babelfish translation)
# writes long letters everyday in English. How does she have time to write those long letters if she's working? And if she doesn't have a job, how can she afford a computer + internet connection? Even Internet cafés are relatively expensive in Russia. Anyway, most Russians outside Moscow can hardly speak a word of English. (What's the point of finding a girl you can't communicate with, at least on a basic level?) PLUS.. if she can't speak English, why does she have a non-cyrillic email account like gmail or yahoo? Most real Russians use mail.ru, yandex.ru or inbox.ru....though hotmail and yahoo are acceptable if she'll chat with you on messenger (preferably with a webcam).
# falls in 'love' very quickly. Don't let your ego, kind heart, loneliness or lust pull the wool over your eyes. She doesn't really know you. You could be an axe murderer for all she knows. As I mentioned, Russian TV is full of documentaries about Russian girls who have emigrated and got murdered, abandoned, etcetc.
# uses a proxy server to hide his/her location, ie a SOCKS server / GPRS Internet. if you can't trace 'her' IP, it's 100% scam.
THE FIRST THING YOU SHOULD DO IS TRACE HER IP ADDRESS. In fact, it's the only thing you need to do really.
MOST IMPORTANT...if you get this far:
# she asks for money for a tourist 'visa' and/or maybe tickets, ignoring the fact that IT'S VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR A SINGLE, POOR RUSSIAN GIRL TO GET A TOURIST VISA TO A WESTERN COUNTRY!
Most Russian girls outside Moscow and St Petersburg are quite poor, and immigration control would consider them an overstay risk. They would never let be let into your country without a healthy bank account.
She can get a SPONSORED visa with your help, but then she needs a personal letter of invitation from you, a copy of your passport, a proof of your residence in your home country, a completed sponsor's application form (also from you)....not including the documents that she has to fill in herself. She also needs a job in Russia, a letter from her employer and insurance. All of these documents she has to drop off at your national embassy in Moscow WITH PREPAID TICKETS and wait about 10 working days. These are the rules for the Schengen countries anyway...the USA and Canada are almost as, if not more, complicated. Anyway, a normal TOURIST visa + travel costs + hotel rooms would set her back 2000+ US dollars for a trip to the US. She should be asking you for a lot of money! Why should it be so easy for a gorgeous sexy Russian girl just to jump on a plane and fall into bed with you? Anyway, no respectable Russian girl would ask directly for money, but might accept some if you insisted.
NB...you should check your national embassy website in Moscow for visa prices and procedures.
There are many variations on the scams, some quite slight. Some scammers claim to have a visa already and need money for tickets, a last-minute medical examination, etcetc. Some claim that their mother needs an operation, etcetc. A few more patient and professional scammers will take months before they hit you with the money letter (though if you follow my tips, you should be able to spot the scammers before then). There are even a few real girls scamming, and professional gold-diggers (mostly in the Ukraine). One or two of them are very bold, and not even afraid to use their true identities. These scammers are harder to spot, and there is no easy way to identify them, all you can do is use your instincts and common sense, and DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
and, of course, a ground rule is: DON'T SEND MONEY...unless you're 100% sure she's real.
Another ground rule: if you are looking for a Russian wife/partner, you must be prepared to travel to Russia to meet her. You also need to behave generously towards her; after all, you need to prove that you can support here (and her kids) if she migrates to your country. But if she turns out to be a professional gold-digger, which has never happened to me personally or anyone I know (but I know it does happen), you should try to be philosophical and treat it as an exotic trip to a foreign country, have fun anyway, and try not to waste too much money on her.
There are actually hundreds of perfectly nice Russian girls in Russia but you have to be prepared to go and get them. Chercher la femme. It certainly worked for me.
anonymous from United Kingdom
Thanks for your advice, can i add a few things, the photos i have received are without a doubt her, i asked for one with her holding a newspaper, next day i received one with her holding a white sheet of a4 size paper with 'Hello Del i think of you. Alena' So i know its her and not a bloke, im not being taken in at all, never have been because i know she could not have fallen for me as she said she has, i know she dont really know me, and she has not answered questions from me quite often, had she not asked for money my next email was going to go something like this
'jn nkfgnclfkm erkjncnflwed mcvkfm ommdju,w ormormd kjyueywn jdyswrjflo' then i was gonna wait and see the reply, mind you it looks like russian...lol
I have had the story about her childhood boyfriend that died in a road accident a few years ago etc
i have just been playing along with it while im quiet at work. lol
Not had an email from her for 4 days now
She says she uses the internet cafe, no phone at home etc.
I'll just go along with it for a while til she gets fed up with me stringing her along.
Del boy...how do you know it's a 'she' if you've never talked to her? And I promise you that 99% of Russian girls have a mobile phone (but never a landline)....only scammers don't. You should be able to call her any time you want, after all you'd be paying for the call as well. My fiancée is Russian and I know what I'm talking about. I kept in touch with her for a year via messages and her mobile.
In any case, I didn't say that you were being 'taken in', just giving you advice in case you weren't sure.
anonymous from United Kingdom
Thanks Eddie, she did ask me for a phone number to call me on, but i'll see if she has a mobile.
I didnt think you was saying i was being taken in, dont worry i have been suspicious since day one, after third email i told her i thought it was a scam, but instead of disappearing she tried really hard to reassure me she is genuine and would never play with peoples emotions, but if she is trying to scam me then she is a liar too
anonymous from United Kingdom
I got this email today, looks like they are having a christmas sale. 33% off
Do scammers give a discount?
Does she look like a scammer?
Helo my Honey my love Del!!!! Forgive that I did not write to you
long, it is really a pity to me. I very much missed on all of you
these days. The reason of my such long absence is work. I worked much.
I all time think of us, I think of our meeting. It so is important for
me. My dear Del, please do not think of that that if I shall arrive to
you I shall not love you. I love you very much very strongly and I
wish to be only with you, because you the most important for me the
person all over the world. I as try to make something for my arrival
to you because if you will arrive it will cost more. My favourite Del,
I could borrow 200 $ for my visa. As to arrive to you I require
tickets, but my daddy has told that it will try to find money for
tickets. But it can find them later for this reason I ask you the help
rather 400 $ for my visa. Therefore when my visa will be ready, my
daddy can find money for tickets and our meeting will be
accelerated!!!! Really you not want it??? I love you my honey and I
think of our meeting every day!!!! I think that it is very successful
moment because my daddy will help with tickets. I as understand that
the visa costs dearly. I very much was surprised. Probably there
enters at once insuarens, medical documents, the passport foreign and
many other things documents! My love Del, what you think in this
occasion? I think that it is very good news and we can take advantage
of the moment! I so was glad when the daddy has told to me that will
try to help!!! I wait for our meeting very strongly!!!! Well my dear I
shall finish the letter because already late. I shall wait for your
letter with impatience. The whole also I embrace you strong strong!!!
Eddie from Sweden
LMAO!...that's a new approach. She can't get the visa without buying the tickets first (and hotel rooms, medical insurance, money in the bank)....but she wants to borrow $200 towards the visa that she can't get without the tickets, rather than towards the tickets that she has to buy first?
Thanks Eddie, that made interesting reading, she did point out in the email that the $600 includes insurance and a medical, maybe i should copy and paste the reqirements to obtain a UK visa to her.
I didnt see it mentioned that you need flight tickets before a visa is issued and they stated that an application may be refused.
MAC from United Kingdom
Del mate she is def a scammer, the bit with the paper with the message to you is a very simple bit of graphic retouching. ie girl holding plain paper, individual writing for each of us layed onto in photoshop. Plus there are variable data programmes that will do it for them. sorry mate, i am just glad there are guys like Eddie and OJAS are around to show us newwies the ropes.
Well done boys!!! Keep up the good work ps. Eddie, Elena models is going great....... so far!!!!!
MAC from United Kingdom
Eddie I was bored the other day at work and decided to retouch one of my lovely Anneta pictures. Sent one back to HIM with her head sat on the body of a fat bloke with the heading to my lovely boris....
i'm just playing along with her, just sent her an email saying christmas is almost here and maybe we can sort something out in the new year. I also said that if she could borrow the money i would pay it all back when SHE gets here.
I advised her of the complexities involved to get a visa and gave her the link to the website for the uk embassy explaining it all,
i'm just seeing how far she/he will go to try and get my hard earned money...lol
1 thing i must point out, all the pics she has sent were dated last february and she has long hair in all of them, but in the one with the personal message to me, she has shorter hair and no date on the pic
Del...you're right, it's not mentioned directly I agree.
But it also says:
'Applicants must have the following documents in their application before the application is submitted: Evidence of hotel/tour arrangements in UK'....which might or might not include the flight tickets?
What I can say is that, although I'm British, I've lived in Sweden for the past 18 years, and Sweden is a Schengen country. In the Schengen countries, a Russian citizen needs to have booked and paid for a tour/tickets and/or hotel rooms BEFORE they can get either a sponsored OR a tourist visa. The reason I know this is because, as I've probably mentioned, I've sponsored two Russian girls to visit Stockholm....most recently in November last year.
The same rules apply in the other direction. When I visited Russia last summer I had to book and pay for tickets AND hotel rooms before they'd give me the visa. When I went on a homestay visa (by invitation) at Easter, I needed a special invitation document from Russian immigation, OVIR, which took 6 weeks to process. Only the original is valid for the visa, so my fiancée had to send it by express letter.
In other words, the visa process is strict in both directions and a pain in the ass.
The UK isn't part of Schengen, but I find it hard to believe that the regulations would be more relaxed for that...actually the opposite. A few people have been complaining about all the EU immigrants from Poland and Lithuania.
The other point is that, why would your 'girl' ask for visa money in USD and not in GBP? LOL
As you see from the visa fees:
the single UK visa fee is about 126 USD not 200, and a multiple visa is 400 USD.
MAC...nice to hear that mate. Probably see you in Red Square soon, eh!?
I have been writing a girl from Kazan> Her name is Kristina Ivanova She asked for money on her 12 letter. She needs 450.00 to go to Moscow to US Embassy to fill out
proper documents to get a visa . Is this a scam?