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.
Keywords: brunette on chair brown top red background
anonymous from Sweden
She is a fraud who just wants to get yor money...she is claiming that she lives in Ghana. Accra and study to a nurse...She will love you imidietly...after one mail?? And she is very decided to get you to send here money for her trip to you...
Keywords: guy with siemens shirt and blue jeans on red sofa
anonymous from Sweden
This girl pretend to be a poor girl who needs money for her internet?? *lol*
She claim her love for you at once...and I find here at...www.singlesnet.com
she is using several msn messenger nick...nafisatu abudlay
e-mail adresses to. email@example.com /firstname.lastname@example.org and this is only 2 of them...she gets atleast 10 of them...
more pics on the way...
plz send the money now i need it now my love plz in name is god if u know that u love me plz send the money i love uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
anonymous from Sweden
Keywords: black girl red dress white underwear
email@example.com from Belgium
These are the latest pictures of Nadezhda Sheganova. I'm in contact with 'her' since november 2006. I have realised there are 2 styles of writing English; one is quiet good; and the other one is quiet bad. She claims being a English teacher to me. What concerned me is she never answers to my questions, but only talking about 'her' love and devotion to me. I have sent pictures of my place but no one comment. No one comment on the pictures of myself netheir. She claims being 26 old, living in Tatarstan, not far from the airport and her birthday should be on 28th december. When I realised she could be a scam I 'googleled' her and have found this forum. I naver have sent any monney and would not do it, never. I was ready to go there, but thank to my doubts, and now your site, this is one less to count in the possible match !
Bye bye everybody, and take good care. Her adress: Nadco79@yahoo.com
Steve From Spain.
This is a letter from her, well, a declaration of CYBERLOVE !!!!!!!
Hello my dearest Steve! I want to say to you that I'm
happy so much to
receive your answer on my last e-mail, my Steve!!! I
think about you
my Steve every single day. Every minute I think only
about you about
the things you tell me. It is so interesting for me
to associate with
you. I wait for your warm messages all the time
Steve, I wanted to
tell you about one thing and thought pretty a lot
about how to do it,
my Steve. I realized that I can’t find a place for
myself without your
letters. I never felt better before! Your e-mails are
so important for
me, they are a part of my life, they are something
like a source of
pleasure in my life, I want to tell you that your
occurrence in my
life, Steve, is the best that happened to me, your
messages make me
fell great happiness and pleasure, Steve. I just
wanted you to know
that I am really honest with you, Steve, and try to
I feel in my heart, Steve. Also I realized the
fact that I thought
about my feelings to you, my Steve, I have come to
conclusion that we
were created for each other, my Steve. Last night I
didn't sleep well,
I couldn't do it because I thought about us, my
Steve, about how it
all happened, I mean the way we met on the Internet,
about your warm
messages, and about you, my Steve! Sometimes I think
that it is almost
impossible, then I realize that I have you in my life!
I thought about
all, my Steve, I want to tell you that I can’t be
without you my Steve
and I also thought about the possible answers from
your side. But it
will happen anyway, so I prefer to tell you
about it now. I just
wanted to let you know that I fallen in love with
you honey. I love
you my dearest Steve! My Steve, it happened so quickly
and suddenly, I
didn't expect it, my darling, it's so sensual for
me, my Steve, I
can’t be without you Steve. I LOVE YOU, DARLING! I am
sorry for being
so expressive, but I feel like I want to scream
about it, about how
much I love you and care about you!!!! My lovely
Steve, I wanted also
to tell you that I have noticed through our
messages that we both
interested in each other, don’t you think so? I
wish you also feel
such great feelings towards me, my Steve. Also last
night I addressed
to God, I thank him for the fact that we found each
other, my Steve.
All my girlfriends always asked me about my
personal life. They saw
that I have nobody for a long time, and not going
to do something
about it. My real friends were sincerely
worried about me. But
yesterday I met some of them and told about what
is going on in my
life. I was never sure about anything like I am sure
that I love you
with all my heart, and the limit of my desires is to
spend the rest of
my life with you sweety!!!!! I just want our
feelings to be mutual,
and we will be the happies pair in the whole world!!
I truly believe
in it with all my heart and I know that when you
believe in something
very strong, it will happen one day!!! So I hope
that we will be
together one day my Steve!!!!! I also told about my
feelings to you to
Klava and Larry. They really happy for us and wish us
all the best. I
am so happy honey… Also, my dear Steve, I
want ask you a very
important question for me, I think that it will be
so fairly from my
side, my darling. Do you have or do you write to
another woman, my
Steve??? It's so important to me my Steve, I
hope that you will
understand me, because I love you and I don't
want you, Steve, to
correspond with another women. I want to say to you
that I don't write
any men except you, my Steve. I don't want another
man, because I love
you, Steve! But more over I don't want another woman
to steal you from
me, my love Steve!!! I say to you about it very
seriously, my Steve!
It will be so pity for me if you have or write
another woman, my dear
Steve, and deceive me in our relationship, please,
tell me, Steve, do
you write to another women? We must trust each
other, ok my darling?
Of course, my darling, maybe you will ask me about
my job when I am
far from Russia. Of course, I will miss my job, but
I think that my
love to you is much more important than my job.
I must change my personal life, my dear I am trying to say that I think
that we must be together. And that I think about it all the time. Ok
honey, I have to go now. I will miss every single moment till I see your letter again.
As usual, warm greetings from my girlfriend Klava and Larry. All my warm kisses, Warm hugs, Your lady and beloved woman, Nadezhda