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.
More Irina Kochergina. IRINA LOVES - email@example.com
THE 12th E-MAIL
Simon, how are you? You missed me? You looked forward my letter? I hastened to
write to you as soon as possible. I could not wait that moment while I shall not
be near to a computer somewhat quicker to see your letter and to write to you.
You know, I already started to take some steps to our meeting. I have decided,
that first of all I shall speak with my parents. My mum very well understands me
and consequently I all over again have told to mum that I want to travel in the
England to have a meeting in the person with you. Mum closely listened to me,
and she asked about my plans. I have told to mum, that for me it is necessary to
create family. I have told also, that I want to be happy, and she understood my
desire to live in the England. I have explained, that in the England higher
standard of living I can have the best life. After some silence mum has told,
that I already adult woman, and I have the right to build itself my life and to
make of the decision. I should build itself my happiness together with the
beloved. For my mum the most important that I was happy. Also mum asked to
forget about our family never. Mum has told, that very much me loves, and she
cannot go through, if with me there is something bad. I have told, that I shall
do only correct things. I, certainly, very much love my family, mum, the daddy,
the brother and the sister and I shall never overlook. I have told, that if I
shall have an opportunity I always shall arrive on a visit and also I shall
Anyhow, I for the present in Russia and I reflect on all things. I really want
to build my life, and I am confident, that I do correct things. Then we have
gone to speak with the daddy, and also I have told all to the sister. Mine the
daddy as the engineer on construction always respects well planned actions. he
respects accuracy and confidence and consequently he has told to me, that all
over again I should meet you in the person in the England and see your way of
life, your house, your country. I really agree, that only after that I can draw
conclusions on a real life in the England together with you. I should understand
my feelings. Both of us should understand all things between us. Correctly? The
daddy, certainly, very much worries about me. Anyhow, England far, but I have
told, that you will care of me. Anyhow, my parents have approved my choice and
they have told, that will not be against I visited the England for some time and
visited you. I was very glad, because I wanted to hear these words from parents!
I should have support of my parents. They already adult people and they have
lived a long life, and they understand many things better me. So, I have met
with approval of my parents! They have told, that you on a kind very good and beautiful
the man. You solidly look, and the daddy will invite also you to Russia if
between us things will go well, and we shall continue relations. I promised,
that when I shall arrive in the England I shall immediately call to my parents
and also to leave the address of my location. Now I can go easy in agency of
travel and to find out all details, to go in the England. I think, that it will
borrow time to finish all documents. When I travelled to Europe, it was required
about 4 weeks to receive the passport and then 3 weeks, to receive the visa. Now
my passport already expired, and I should do the new passport. I had the
passport before, and now it will be faster to receive the passport. If all
things go well I think, that in 4 weeks I can have all documents ready! For this
time I shall have time to solve all things on work with mine the boss. I shall
work some time to have additional money for my trip. Then I shall take a
vacation! I shall speak soon with mine the boss about it. Tomorrow I plan to go
in agency of travel, and I shall write to you all details as soon as I find out.
I very much trust you also I hope, that you will not deceive me, and you will
care of me. When I shall arrive in the England you probably should meet me. I
should know the airport closest to you that I arrived as it is possible closer
to you! I very much dream of you! I want somewhat quicker that day of our
I want, that our feelings developed also we had serious relations. You know, we
already for a long time speak with you and I have not told at all to you my
surname! I shall tell to you about it right now. My full name Irina Kochergina.
I also want to know as much as possible the personal information on you. OK?
I really hope, that you loved all my pictures. I am confident, that you in a
reality will love more my appearance. Pictures deform a reality a little and I
think, that in a life I more beautiful! You also very beautiful and we shall be
beautiful pair together! You will allow me to name you LOVED Simon? I also would
want, that you named me LOVED Irina!
I also want I shall speak that certainly the happiest woman if you arrive in
Russia to visit me, but for me really it is very important to arrive to you and
to look as you live. You understand me?
This letter demanded from me the whole 2 hours to write! I shall go now and I
wait your letters. Bye my loved Simon. Heave nice day. Yours forever, Irina.
You got her right email and it is the same in her profile, It doesn't prove if she is
a scammer or not, I think you should post more information about her !
It is very similar to a star from TV, only what?
anonymous from United States
anonymous from United States
firstname.lastname@example.org from United States
The girl I am talking to addresses all my email inquairies, weve actually had some very good emails. I hope she isnt, but I've kinda suspected her as a scammer just because. I will try some of the tips to see whats up. I already told her that I have no extra money for nothin and that Id visit her if it ever came to that....not even knowing that was a tip! I just like to travel!!!! She seemed okay with that scenario for now, but we'll see what happens when I use some of the tips. Her pics have gotten more lazy like 1.jpg, etc. instead of naming them.