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.
Thanks for the advice. The woman concerned claims to be from:
Selivanikha, Region of Krasnoyarsk, Russian Federation
I have run the email Header check and got this:
Email Header Analysis
Sender IP Address: 22.214.171.124
Host Addres: c-76-17-21-160.hsd1.ga.comcast.net
Additional IP Information About Email Sender
IP Address Country: United States
IP Address City Location: Atlanta
IP Address Region: Georgia
IP Address Latitude: 33.7271,
IP Address Longtitude: -84.5785
Organization: Comcast Cable
Like most I held out for the possibility of No Scam here.
I am now 100% convinced it is a scam.
I have been playing innocent with her.
I do not yet have the documents you mention, but I will try to get them with a fake Western Union transfer held out as bait.
Hopefully with the source being in Atlanta the local authorities can shut them down and avoid anyone else being trapped by this bunch.
You guys are great.
Thank you all very much for your help.
anonymous from Portugal
Maybe 'she' is not in Atlanta. but uses an IP masquerading software that may place the scammer in any place in the world, even in Mars ;-)
wanwan from Japan
Hi Donald !
How are you?
I hope you were fine in OZ.
By the way
please see this,
IP Information - 126.96.36.199 IP address: 188.8.131.52
Reverse DNS: c-76-17-21-160.hsd1.ga.comcast.net.
Reverse DNS authenticity: [Verified]
ASN Name: CCH-AS7
IP range connectivity: 2
Registrar (per ASN): ARIN
Country (per IP registrar): US [United States]
Country Currency: USD [United States Dollars]
Country IP Range: 184.108.40.206 to 220.127.116.11
Country fraud profile: Normal
City (per outside source): Atlanta, Georgia
Country (per outside source): US [United States]
Private (internal) IP? No
IP address registrar: BOGUS
Known Proxy? No
Link for WHOIS: 18.104.22.168
I guess it is a 99,999999% Russian Scam .
So you are right !
If she were an innocent Russian girl,
she did not take open proxy in USA.
Now she tries hidding herself from you.
If she wanted to make a friendship with you,
she did not try to hide herself from you.
Very suspicious ! I guess she is a Russian Dating Scammer.
By the way may I ask you ?
Did you find X-mailer '' The Bat xxxxxxxx '' in her mail header or not ?
It is a clue to find out she is a scammer or not !
Please see her mail header again,please !
The Bat is a mass mailer !!!!
If use it,scammers can email 300 love letters over to guys /a day !!
I show you my scammer's mail header ,here
X-Mailer: The Bat! (v2.01)
When you receive a letter from Russia,
please see her mail header and try to find '' The Bat xxxxxxx ''.
And I want to talk you about a fake money transfer bank's receipt.
When Russian Scammers pick up your money,they must tell the MTCN number to the teller.
MTCN(money transfer control number ),it is '' 10 '' digit .
So when you send a fake receipt to her,please don't tell her about 10 digit MTCN.Play innocent !
She will ask for that MTCN !
At that time you can ask for her passport copy !
Please say '' 1st ,you will send me your passport copy,then I will tell you about MTCN '' it is OK ?
Have a ball ! Donald !
Moneygram needs '' 8 '' digit MTCN !!(not 10 digit ,be careful !!!)
Plus you can take an option '' Test Question & Answer ''.
I very often take that option.
(Test question)Are you smart ?
(Answer) No,I am a beefhead.
I had sent that Test Q & A to my lovely Russian Scammers,,,,,,.
My Russian Scammer went to Moneygram and she had to tell that Test Q & A to the teller.
She told that Q & A to the teller but the teller said '' Sorry but you don't have any remittance ''.
My Russian Scammer '' Liliya '' got angry with me,LOL !
Please play innocent ,Keep in touch with her.
Please ask for her more photos,ask for her phone number,address.
Please say '' I love you and I want to meet you.I can support you to visit OZ ''.
She will ask for your $$$$ .
I will support you on here,so please ask us !
Have a ball !
See you soon
Donald in OZ !!!
wanwan from Japan
Hi, this is a blank receipt of Moneygram.
Do you have a scanner or a printer?
If you have that,please print this one out !
And you can fill in fake MTCN(8 digit ,it is OK ) in the blanks.
Then you can scan the one and put it into your computer again.
I was going to drop the whole thng with her, but your advice has given me reason to string her along for a while.
Maybe we can even get her caught.
I have had legitimate business dealings with a Russian in the past, so I am familiar with using Western Union directly from my computer over the Internet.
The only details required to receive the money at the other end are the names of Sender and Receiver and the MTCN.
I have been crying poor and cannot send money.
I will change tack and 'FIND' the money.
I will request her full name and address.
Then 'arrange' a Western Union transfer.
Finally I will send her the fake MTCN.
When she complains we can start a series of emails about misquoted MTCN numbers.
That should keep her going for a while.
I can find no reference to X-Mailer or any other mass mailer.
Here is a complete RAW email from 'My Dear Liza'.
I have altered any reference to my name and email address:
From - Wed Sep 23 18:45:28 2009
X-Apparently-To: My Address via 22.214.171.124; Wed, 23 Sep 2009 01:45:00 -0700
X-YMailISGh6GuUDAWLDvOwyByih1TQf_7JemHta vCZmwksEoWNWjYoZLL0ARNKa0tfpA6pA6mEX3rZpbTgm6NmqNG5vKM63JEHg56MNULgKcoSh.1Yqa7alHdW12Kb8ICPA.I92BeRlzIbsZi. c6lDrY8zdMICGNP6b1pKuXsS4y4lNaM1S2ACfUQnvK59Pq5rkT7Cw1VC3pBGGmAc_1O3_2zqF0DTPQFzfaMq2MwSOU _hdaHYFB72isbJ5gXFpQkf2R5hBwB7wB7523XOe6Xrx4lYaPBUFOPjAQ4kLOYzKrwDj. qAXsilup4KheIAyY8xVJFrwV5EVy9zVQmF2iI1Ro5ZaiLsgxidFtnlYewdLZdLZYrIMRPLoM630Bl71TQ--
Authentication-Results: mta315.mail.re4.yahoo.com from=gmx.com; domainkeys=neutral (no sig); from=gmx.com; dkim=neutral (no sig)
Received: from 126.96.36.199 (HELO mailout-us.gmx.com) (188.8.131.52)
by mta315.mail.re4.yahoo.com with SMTP; Wed, 23 Sep 2009 01:45:00 -0700
Received: (qmail invoked by alias); 23 Sep 2009 08:44:57 -0000
Received: from c-76-17-21-160.hsd1.ga.comcast.net (EHLO [184.108.40.206]) [220.127.116.11]
by mail.gmx.com (mp-us004) with SMTP; 23 Sep 2009 04:44:57 -0400
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 2009 12:27:52 +0400
X-Priority: 3 (Normal)
To: AUKUS <My Address>
Subject: Hello my dear Dave!
In-Reply-To: <My Address>
References: <My Address> <email@example.com> <My Address>
Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1
<html><head><title>Hello my dear xxxxxxxxxx!</title>
<META http-equiv=3DContent-Type content=3D'text/htmcharset= 3Diso-8859-1'>
<st;span style=3D' font-family:'courier new'; font-size: 9pt;'>Hello my belove=
Dear my Dave, certainly I am very upset, because I cannot long =
My loved Dave, I very much wish to arrive to you to the Australia. To=
me 30 years. I when was not in another the country. I to write to you=
already the Australia, it is my dream. I two years to save this money=
for a trip to the Australia, and now when I have met you my dear Dave=
when at me, I thought there is a chance, to see you and to arri=
the Australia, to be with you, it is found out not probably. I am very<br>
strongly upset. I to cry. It is crash of all mine hope. I to not write<br>
to you, all clinic of employees should sign t=
he contract up to on<br>
October, 1th. This contract has the term, five years. On this contract<br>
very strict rules. I cannot go to other country whi=
le the contract<br>
operates. It means I cannot go as early as the whole five years to the<br>
Australia. I thought I have chance, to go now to the Australia and if=
we will have all well I could not come back in Russia. I =
know I can<br>
work in the Australia on the professional. I agree to work first time=
as the nurse. I think any hospital or clinic will be glad to have the=
nurse with the diploma of the doctor of the surgeon. Then I could not=
go back in Russia, and to be always with you.=
My loved Dave, I to<br>
require you and your help to me. Me to not suffice on tic=
kets up to<br>
you 980 Euro, I to require this money to arrive to you. My loved Dave,<br>
the tourist visa, has term of 12 months=
. I to find out in travel<br>
agency, the ticket back, probably to change, or to hand over on=
the airport in the Australia, and to receive money approximately 1200=
- 1250 Euro, On arrival to you, I to return to you your m=
you me to send. But certainly, it if I shall remain in the Aust=
if at us, all will be good, and you do not expel me. I in=
arrive to the Australia only to be with you my dear Dave, and probably<br>
to remain with you. I whom do not know in the Australia. Now I thought<br>
I have an every prospect to change the life, I am very st=
rong it to<br>
want. To be with you and to not go any more in Russia. No=
w it turns<br>
out, I do not have this chance? For me =
it is accident. Well such<br>
destiny will suffice about sad, probably at me. I should use ho=
In current of 40 - 45 days. If I now shall not leave, then I ca=
go even to holiday to the Australia. If I shall not sign the contract,<br>
I shall remain without job and without money. In travel agency =
have told, the prices for tickets grow upwards almost every week. Dear<br>
my Dave, I you very much ask to help me please as soon as possible, it<br>
for me is very important, I to you on arrival to return t=
o you your<br>
money which you me to send. I sha=
ll wait very much your letter.<br>
Entrust me and all will be good.<br>
One million kisses for my dear xxxxx, Liza... </body>
OJAS from United States
Donald Trumps, thanks mate, for your continuing contributions.
PS replace the anonymous box with Donald Trumps, will make it easier for the readers.
Cheers from the States!
David from United States
I was just cruzing the net and found an interesting site. Haven't seen it on here but it's worth posting again if it is. I like the interesting articles on a guy playing with scammer. Give it a look sometime.
Thanks David !
I visited there URL but I could not see that website.Ummmmuh!!!!
So once again please put that FULL URL on here,it is OK ?
I hope so,thanks David.
I want to watch that website that you recommended.