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.
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 wondered 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
anonymous from Indonesia
wowww.. actually never heard before about the scammer story here in my country... my curiousity about the danish man i told u about, now is clear. thank u for this website with all their share posting n comments from all countries. i just can't believe there're such things like this. now i really dont know how can i trust people from internet anymore. IF is there still any good guys out there?? anyways, thank u guys for ur help.
zdenko from Croatia/Hrvatska
i have same situation. russian girl sent me email .6 times.she live in perm.after 2 weeks she told me -i am in moscow and wait travel visa and papers.but she dont told me second name, and when i ask 6 subquestions . she dont answer .not for any wane.whan i sent photos of my little house and told -i am not rich man.-russian girl not answer and dont sent me anymore emails. I NOW THAT RUSSIAN GIRL COME IN AMERICA AND MARRIED .AFTER THAT RUSSIAN MAFIA ASK THAT MAN MUST PAY THIS GIRL OR BE GIG TROUBLE. I NOW 99 % THIS WOMEN IS PROSTITUTE.
anonymous from Netherlands
I dont know why, but my posting of the 1st of august has dissapeared. I ll give you an update anyway. I answered the email of Nastya (email@example.com) in which she gave me her address, with the message that I want to come and visit her. I asked if I could sleep at her place because the costs will be about 500 euro :-). Strangely I had no reply for 3 days now. I dont expect to get any emails from her again.
Kind regards from the Netherlands!
Peter from Germany
90% of women and 50% of men are scam as far it is about online-dating. You can use it but I for one decided never to try it again. Internet itself is great.
There is quite easy question to judge about someone:
'Does this person want to take any financial advantage with her/his comment/mail?'
If so mistrust is more than recommened. If not suspect is a waste of energy because it leads to nothing.
from dina <firstname.lastname@example.org>
date Mon, Aug 4, 2008 at 8:16 AM
subject alina is waiting to chat with you now
I am dina,
I have just updated my profile,
I want to chat with you, please, contact me here:
anonymous from United Kingdom
I have been talking to a girl called Elena Smolentseva for the past month. She appears to be quite open and honest about her life, as she sounds sincere. She intends to come to the UK to visit me, as she's never been abroad, this month. She has not asked me for any money for her visa. Though she sounds sincere enough if not a bit niave to me and after hearing about some scammers, I'd like to know if she is one.
I am sending a couple of photos of her. I need to know whether I am about to be scammed.
Anybody out there.... Please tell me what happened to Jim! I can't get access to MarriageAgencyScams.
zdenko-croatia from Croatia/Hrvatska
this is email of this girl
she is email me only for money
are this email is scammed?
zdenko-croatia from Croatia/Hrvatska
please help me. she is so sweet i do not now wot i do
i sent me house its little strange-people look---this is 1st my bilding. photo is 1991 after war
zdenko-croatia from Croatia/Hrvatska
i dont understanding why too many scammed shit. people need money or think we are idiots.
when this girl sent me 1 email it is be spam-i am nice girl from russia-when i ask you dont have internet shi told me must go to internet caffe??????? do you have phone-no i dont have and told me i have only 4 numbers phone and no exit line outside
when i told - give me number and i call you-she dont answer.
she told me-i find you email address but i dont now which site is.
p.s.- help me please