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.
What do you guys think about this one? Now, I'm not looking for any Russian women, and since I'm recently seperated from my girlfriend, I put a profile up on true.com. A couple weeks ago, I got an email from a girl saying she was in New York, and I emailed her back, but I never heard from her so I completely forgot about it. Then last night I get this email from her:
Hello,i am glad to get your response this evening.
First of all i would know if you want to correspond with woman which is far
away from you ? I ask this question because we are thousand miles away from each
Well,let me introduce my self.My name is Yuliya,
i am 30 years old and i was born February 25,
Am i too youth for you ? :) I live in Russia,not usa.There was no
opportunity to indicate it on true.com because registration of profile
could not went throw.
The name of city i live is Irkutsk,Siberia.
Which is two days by train from Moscow,What can i tell you
about my city...? well,it is nice,but i prefer continue about myself :)
i work as a dentist in dental clinic and i love my work,
I own two rooms apartment with beautiful kitchen.What is about your place ?
My ex-husband left me without computer and other expensive stuff,
by this way i am writing from internet center now.
I have no kids because when i was married my ex-husband had no luck giving
them to me,he was not able to produce kids,but i am able.I was not scared,i
to find the solution for this problem and to get kid from goverment (small kid,
who had no parents),but i received no agreement from my ex-husband.
We married in 1995 and divorced one year ago.
From that moment i got thousands of admires,the most from his friends,
but no one interested me enough as correspond with two man tryed to write to me
last week throw internet.Could you truly answer
one question for me : is every one looking for image whith naked woman first ?
i hope no,but it seems like true.
I am looking for serious relations and
meeting in person,so if you do not see it could be possible,
let me know and we will not waist each other's time,
i need to find a good man who is able to take care of me,
so i ask you to think about this subject and write me back
only if you are really interested,i do not play any games and
i am very serious about relations.
I have one brother,he is cook on the ship
and travel all the time.Tell me more about your family,about your job and other
things could be interested to me.Feel free asking questions,i am open
woman and have nothing to hide.I enjoy traveling,do you ? i have been to
Turkey,Cyprus,Spain,Italy And France.I Have never been to US.Is there any
place in the world you would like to visit ? what is your favorite season ?
i like summer the most.May be someday i could travel
to Australia,unique par of Earth as i have seen on tv :)
Well,if you are interested talking to crazy woman after reading above
my door is open for your key,if not-i wish you the best of luck,
do not forget to think about relations with woman from an other
country and if it is really what you are interested in.
i hope to find good man and i belive in destiny.
I will come here to check e-mail box the day after tomorrow.
Some key things that I noticed that have fit other warning signs listed on scam sites - She claims to be a dentist, like many others on this site have said. She contacted me via true.com claiming to be from the states and asked me to contact her on her personal email..this doesn't concern me so much because I might do the same thing to avoid paying for the premium membership to talk to someone.
The biggest thing was the picture she sent me, is a closeup facial shot of an extremely beautiful woman, however, its not any more impressive than glam shots I've seen of local girls here.
Tell me what you guys think.