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.
j'ai également reçu beaucoup de photos de marina volykhina, je lui est dit que j'avais quelques petis probleme d'argent et bizarement je n'est plus eus de nouvelle. c'est un escroc
anonymous from New Zealand
The girl in the picture has cropped up many times, she calls herself Tatyana.My computer was offline for a week, when I came back I had s7 emails all with the same picture, but different sender addresses, which are:
Woman Gets Two Years for Aiding Nigerian Internet Check Scam
- A Washington woman was sentenced on Wednesday to two years in prison
and five years of supervised release for her role in an Internet
counterfeit check scheme.
Edna Fiedler pleaded guilty in March to attempting to defraud U.S.
citizens in a scheme known as a Nigerian check scam.
Fiedler helped her accomplices in Nigeria send fake checks to people
who had agreed to cash the checks on behalf of the sender, keeping some
of the proceeds and sending the rest back.
The Nigerians found people willing to cash the fake checks via e-mail.
They would send their names as well as fake documents that looked like
Wal-Mart money orders, Bank of America checks, U.S. Postal Service
checks and American Express traveler's checks to Fiedler. They told her
how to fill out the checks and where to send them.
The recipients most likely thought they were helping out someone who
needed a person in the U.S. to cash a check for them, according to the
U.S. Department of Justice. They were able to get the money by cashing
the checks, and sent most of it to either Fiedler or her Nigerian
accomplices. However, once the checks were discovered to be fake, the
people who cashed them were responsible for the full amount.
All told, Fiedler sent out US$609,000 worth of phony checks and money
orders. When U.S. Secret Service agents investigating the case searched
Fiedler's house, they found additional fake checks worth more than $1.1
million that she was preparing to send out.
At a recent conference in Seattle, a representative from the U.S.
Postal Service and Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna
described ways they're working to shut down these kinds of scams,
particularly because they often involve people who don't realize that
they're taking part in illegal activities.
The U.S. Postal Service recently sent 15 postal investigators to Lagos,
Nigeria, and during a three-month period there, they helped intercept
counterfeit checks, lottery tickets and eBay overpayment schemes with a
face value of $2.1 billion, Chris Siouris, a cyber investigator at the
U.S. Postal Inspector, said at the recent conference. Siouris, McKenna
and others are pushing for ways to better educate Internet users so
that people don't unwittingly help out in these kinds of e-mail scams.
OJAS from United States
Not knit-picking here, unfortunately contracted delphi hot-links cannot copy paste. They have to be opened in a new tab / window, then the URL from the address bar is good for copy / paste.
@newbies To allow copy / paste, and prevent delphi from contracting and creating a hot-link, one way is to Capitalize the first character with H as in Http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/147575
For the opposite effect of creating a hot-link while possibly destroying copy / paste capability with delphi contracting URLs longer than 29 characters with ellipses .. leave the first character with lower case h as in http://tech.yahoo.c..rld/147575
anonymous from France
scammer looking for money for visa. her email email@example.com
Rue Pouchkine Maison 3 Appartement 8
Yuliya Popova is a news and feature reporter for Russia Today.
A native Ukrainian, she spent most of the year reporting from Kiev on a range of issues.Yuliya brought regular live updates on the gas supply stand-off between Russia and Ukraine, parliamentary elections in March and the political crisis in Ukraine’s parliament, the Supreme Rada.
In live interviews with political experts, she discussed economic and social change in Ukraine after the Orange Revolution. In Russia, Yuliya reported on the bird flu outbreaks in remote villages, the collapse of a Moscow market building, radical nationalist demonstrations and the crash of an Armenian aircraft near Sochi, in southern Russia.
Before joining Russia Today, Yuliya freelanced for commercial and community radio stations in the north of England, presenting radio reports on terrorist attacks in London and parliamentary elections in England.
Juliya was awarded a BA degree in business administration from the International Christian University, Vienna-Kiev before receiving a post-graduate degree in bi-media journalism from Trinity and All Saints College, Leeds, England.