Is this Russian girl scamming me? How to recognize scammers
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Are you an American or Western European man exchanging emails with a girl from Russia? I was contacted by a girl who turned out to be a scammer. Reader Derrick put together some great advice how to detect scammers.
I only have one advice (#8) to add: If a Russian girl tells you that she will get a visa to the USA instead of inviting you, that is - under the current immigration law - a SURE sign that SHE LIES.
Here is the process how a Russian woman can come to the USA:
If she is considered a relatively young/ attractive woman (let's say under 40, hope I don't hurt anyone's feelings here), then there is virtually NO CHANCE THAT SHE GETS A TOURIST VISA TO THE USA. First the Russian Federation will not allow her to leave the country. Then, even if she was getting out, the USA will deny her admission. The reasoning is that she is considered a risk. How could she not be a risk? If she had family in Russia (husband, children) or a valuable business or real estate. Most likely the woman who writes you will be considered a risk. The only way for her to get a visa into the USA is this procedure:
the foreign man visits her in her native area in Russia
they get engaged during such a visit - take photos of the 2 of you together
he flies back and applies for a K-1 visa. A K-1 visa is also known as Fiancee visa, used for marriage-based immigration
once the K1 visa is granted, the girl can enter the USA and stay there for 3 months. By the end of these 3 months you HAVE to GET MARRIED or the girl has to go back home.
if you get married, the girl gets a greencard and can work
after 3 years of marriage, the girl can apply for a US citizenship. That's when they interview you to find out if it's a real marriage. She also has to answer some questions about US history, political system, etc etc.
Here are Derrick's tricks (1-7) that he uses immediately from the start:
GOOGLE or websearch the first part of the scammers first emails and/or 'profile'. SEE HOW MANY OTHER SITES their listed on! RECORD THOSE SITES FOR FUTURE REFERENCE. THAT alone can give you a good idea IF your dealing with a scammer OR not.
GOOGLE or websearch the return email address. See how many 'hits' come from that search and also note all the sites. (many times you'll see the email end up on a 'scammers list') IF YOU FIND THE EMAIL ADDRESS LISTED ON A SCAMMER LIST - don't bother further, your only fooling yourself - no matter what excuse they might give you.
FROM THE START - ASK FOR SPECIFIC INFOMATION! A full name, address, phone number - something. OFFER THE SAME in exchange, except make it a P.O. box and a CELL PHONE rental card that will protect your identity. If you see your requests ignored, which you usually will, don't waste your time further.
ALWAYS ASK SPECIFIC QUESTIONS that would REQUIRE A SPECIFIC ANSWER outside the use of FORM LETTERS. IF YOU FIND your questions go unaddress in your reply emails from 'them/her' - YOUR DEALING WITH A SCAMMER. Again, don't bother further.
DON'T WAIT 6 MONTHS to offer to talk with the PROSPECT by phone! WHAT A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME! IF THERE IS CHEMISTRY OR APPEARS 'INTEREST' BETWEEN THE TWO OF YOU - then sieze the opportunity. ARRANGE A PHONE CALL! International rates to Russia and most places are reasonably cheap. IF YOU GET THE REPLY ' I'M SO POOR I DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO A PHONE' - drop the whole thing, your only wasting your time and WILL BE SCAMMED at some point in the future.
PHOTO FLOOD! IF IT/SHE/HIM/THEM - LOOK TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE - THEN IT PROBABLY IS! MOST IF NOT ALL OF THE SCAMMES USE PHOTOS OF MODELS IN THEIR HOME COUNTRIES TO POSE ON THE NET IN THEIR PROFILE(s)! Consider this - IF THEY LOOK like a MODEL then tell you they're so poor they don't have access to a phone - YOUR BEING SCAMMED!
ASK FOR A SPECIAL PHOTO TO BE TAKEN. IF YOU SENT YOURS, HAVE THEM TAKE A PHOTO SHOWING THEM HOLDING UP YOUR PHOTO IN THE PICTURE! That is a good 'scammer filter' - even the most adept with Photoshop will easily be spoted.
BETTER STILL - ASK THEM TO TAKE A PHOTO THAT SHOWS THEM HOLDING A CURRENT NEWPAPER OF YOUR CHOICE OR THEIR COUNTRY, WITH A RESOLUTION THAT YOU CAN READ THE DATE! NOT some low grade - grainy photo! FEW WILL EVER DO THAT.
AT THE LEAST - ASK THEM FOR A PHOTO of them wearing a specific combination of clothes and/or colors - something different then the usual 'model clothing' - most use to send out. OR AN OBJECT - TOASTER, ELECTRIC CLOCK, BY A COUCH, IN A ROCKING CHAIR something that would be very hard to use PHOTOSHOP to just PUT in another FILE PHOTO.
*** IF this person is real or sincere, they won't mind doing this for you! ALSO - offer to do the same for their comfort also - that is only fair.
IF THINGS GET SERIOUS - then ASK THEM TO DELETE ALL THEIR OTHER WEB PROFILE POSTS! CHECK ON THE ONES YOU NOTED EARLIER! Again, IF THEIR SINCERE - they will - happily as your their DREAM and future!
If she talks about getting a visa or that she needs money to get a travel visa to the USA, she lies. See the proper course of action described at the top.
Here you have one who says she wrote to me before. Never ever...
Datum: 6-2-2008 16:17:25
Onderwerp: hello, my love !!! !
hello, my love!
how are nyou?
My dear, where are you going to write me a response?
I write to you a few letters. You stopped liking my pictures?
I send you my latest picture ...
Please write me a reply ...
with love thy princess!
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Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2008 07:15:47 -0800
From: 'albineberti' <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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Subject: hello, my love !!! !
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Datum: 28-1-2008 21:45:22
Aan: Dirk van Dellen
Onderwerp: Hello Dirk!
Thanks for the answer!
To tell the truth I did not expect and did not trust that you will answer me!
I dont know what I should tell you about myself in the first place..
Perhaps I will start with the simplest random things.
My name is Iraida and me 27 year!
I have been given birth 12.05.1980. In not the big country town with not the big population.
Now I work as the seller in shop of colors.
At me very interesting work. Because every day I can observe happy persons of people which buy flowers for loved.
Dirk, it is not very a pity to me that I for the life could test such big, passionate, hot feeling as love,
and still would not find second half with whom could create serious attitudes.
I want meet the man on which I could to rely,
which always will support me and will help with a heavy situation for me.
Dirk, for certain it is very interesting to you to know about how I found
You on the Internet. I earlier also did not represent,
that the Internet will be To give so it is a lot of opportunities to people.
I went in agency of acquaintances in our city and lady asked to fill The questionnaire.
I filled in my data. I have written to you the letter, also was very glad to receive from you the answer!
Many people speak, that at me very beautiful eyes. You can see it in a photo which I to you I send.
I ask you to tell that you think of my appearance. I ask you to send me some your photos.
I like to go in for sports, I try to keep the shape. In fact it is necessary now.
Some times in a week I go to fitness the center. I do not smoke and I do not drink alcohol either.
As I think that the girl using alcohol and cigarettes loses all feminity.
How you treat to alcohol and cigarettes? You use it? What kind of movies do you like to watch?
I like adventures like Indiana Jones, or detectives about James Bond or Puarou.
But I like elements of romance and drama as well. The recent movie I was watching was the Fight Club.
Yes, you are right, it is not on the list of my preferences. However, I was recommended to watch it.
And the idea behind the movie was great.
Among the music and songs I prefer to listen to E. Morricone, Fr. Garsia, Santana and Chi Mai.
Please ask things interesting you about me and give me some information about you:
what do you do for entertainment?
What's your character?
What do You love in women?
You had when or serious attitudes?
More questions.. more answers.. More answers more letters. More letters.. more who knows what?
I really hope to find my love. I very much would like,
That between us already from the first letters there was a understanding and trust each other.
Speak me only the truth and between us there will be warm relations! Probably, finishing my
e-mail to you. Dirk, I'll be grateful so much, if you'll write me about
yourself so much, as I did it. I would like, if you'll tell me, for
example, about your family, is your family large? About your city
where are you living, I have never been in other countries!
too, and I'll be glad to know about your country.
Ok, let me to finish my e-mail, I hope to see your answer soon!
Ok, good bye, Dirk, hoping to see your message soon!
Take care, Sincerely,
Your new friend Iraida!
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Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 18:43:55 +0300
From: Iraida <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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Subject: Hello Dirk!
X-Spam-Score: 6.5 (++++++)
The IP 184.108.40.206 is a dead giveaway. Any IP beginning with 77.40 is Yoshkar-Ola (VolgaTel, Mari-El)...
its rudi again.
eddie and dirk thanx very much for your help.
the lady seem s real to me,well i hope so.
she answers all my questions and the letters are not in a format.
i did what u said.i asked her to hold a pic i send to her and send it to me.i include the pic.
i also spoke to he on the fone.
please give me your comments.
thanx for the help my friends
Dirk from Heerlen, Netherlands
Why don't you go and pay her a visit?
anonymous from Germany
CAUTION! ANNA GRIGORIAN 32 years - still a scammer from Kazan!
See the forum 'Dating scammer Ekaterina Rozhentsova', the last pages!
All pigs are equal. But some pigs are more equal than other pigs.
Peter from Germany
Huu, there she is again! But I don't get you, Eric. What do you mean?
Peter from Germany
Just saw, he meant admin Peter, sorry.
OJAS from United States
Eric, it now seems resolved, by the time I read Tony's e-mail.
Why don't we agree when distinction is not obvious, Admin Peter, or Peter (Germany) make it clear who we are addressing. Whether we like it or not, Admin Peter ultimately decides what stays and what goes. When we disagree we all know we fully respect each other, and Admin Peter knows this as well.
Like I said Eric, relax, take a moment to e-mail Tony.