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.
as i read about scammer on this website topic.. make me wonder what if the scammer is a man?? am i being scammed too??
in 8th july 2008 i had a message in myspace, a man is very intrest in me. his name is eric kenedy. he was very sweet in words n tried to convince me about his love. he said he come from denmark. studied college in canada. he works on oil stuff n had live in cameroon (africa) for 5 years for business. he said he'a an orphant n have no one on his side but one of his nigeria friend. he ask me my cells number n since then he calls me sometimes. never been a long intimate conversation coz of the bad connection n our diffrent language troubled us in clear understanding.
so at 24th july he had his birthday n like to invite me to africa to celebrate. i rejected it. Tht impossible for me to visit stranger in strange country, infact i never been abroad before. so i gave him a present instead. he chose to give his bestfriend address in nigeria. so i sent it.
suddently, he nver give me a call like he used to be. he said he's been around n busy with works. n then he said he wanted to visit me n start business in here. he wanted me to prepare everything. he wanted to send me a money log edge n asked me to keep it first before his coming. he said he wasnt 'a small' person. so tht's why he ask me to write my full address n name. he chose to bring the logedge with his envoy by emirat airland right to my address.
its hard for me to believe him. everything come so rush i couldnt thinking. n now i became so afraid. many questions in my mind. there a lil stuff that make me suspicious if anything of him is true.
1. how can a man suddenly decided to fall in love at some strange girl by looking her profile by accident in my space. in my space profile he wrote his location in NY. usa ( which one is true, u think ? )
2. he cant speak danish when i ask him 'i love u' in danish language ( when he once said he was from denmark he should know danish language, right? )
3. he always gone mad n sad if anything remind him about his parents
4. he doesnt much socialize with people
5. he looks like ' too good to be true' indeed ( like george colooney i guess ) but his pictures always appear in small file with low resolution. when i ask for bigger one, he never give it to me.
6. how can he trusting me some money.. whom completely stranger to him? why dont he saving all those money on banks? we know it more saver there ( he said it wasnt comfortable in africa to save all his money )
7. how he like to start business here when he didnt know anything about my country at all. is it possible??
could somebody tell me.. if he a real person or just another form of scammer?? he said the visa n ticket to fly here almost ready. i'm afraid he's a drug dealer or wanted crime person or somthing else. what do u think i supposed to do? am i only over reacting or i should be aware about this man?? can u guys help me with opinion??
I'm sorry anonymous from Indonesia but he's just another scammer. He isn't in love with you. He jusr wants to use you like he is doing many other people. He probably also has stolen pictures of women and pretends to be one to scam guys. It would be better tp just break it off.
hello! I want decirte that if desire conocerte and thus to be able to interchange photos and to talk of us I want decirte that you are beautiful and beautiful and that I want everything with you, good if your you wish gustaria me to it that you come country to be together and to have a pair relation and to love to us much, I also want decirte q I I only speak Spanish a little English, some words. your message traduci to read it. by far love kisses
anonymous from Brazil
I am from Brazil And I read you ask about Lonelyalena@yandex.ru. I receive a invite her in 2008 07 01 then I have changed email with her until I decide to google her user name lovelyalena and was ashamed in the great amount of sigh up she got. Try to research lovelyalena in google.
Your email firstname.lastname@example.org does not work
I will send you all photos and letters to you compare. Send what you have to me too