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.
On the Gallery tab (second from right) see if you can find
OJAS from United States
Glad to be of help. I'm just a drop in an ocean everyone else is contributing here. I didn't think I did anything unusual. Someone needs help ... just do what I can, as most others here would have done.
Yes, you really need to keep a few things confidential pending a trial, lest pre-trial publicity becomes available for the defence.
I'm at times faced with the same predicament. I may have far more details than the liberty to publish them, lest it compromise sensitive nature of sources.
As for my reward, my best would be an innocent guy keeps his money in his own wallet, and warns the next guy against bleeding it to a scammer.
Thanks for the invitation. I'll send you an e-mail sometime.
anonymous from United States
Thank you. This information is everything in this regard. Because I have to go and spend time with her, then I at least know if it will work. granted the woman does not hide everything for at least 3 months during her green card stay, and one should be able to figure out that by then, so thank you again. The information that Russia will not let a young woman leave is enough I hope. I pray that God bless us all, and let be a blessing.
anonymous from Portugal
Guys I'm shocked! A site global7russia is a shit, you make sure of this, make a background check - data of the girl which you write there is not important - just device it, and you receive the answer that it is scammer, and in 2,3 days you will find that you have written on it on blacklist and on google.
Sorry to hear that you got scammed! But why did you send 1500 EUR to him, you plonker? And why did he not write to you on Sundays? Was the 'Internet café' closed?? I'm sure that you didn't talk on the phone (she had no phone right?)...or she maybe called you once for about 2 minutes? I admit that 6 months is a LONG time, that's a very patient scammer.
PLEASE POST HER PHOTOS HERE!!
Meh (Sweden)...are you the same guy as Ronny? Your scammer is probably using a proxy server in Sweden or a forged Swedish IP address. Please post the full header here.
Otherwise, to any newcomers who find this thread, via Google or whatever, PLEASE READ THIS!
SOME GENERAL INFO ABOUT RUSSIAN GIRLS AND RUSSIAN DATING SCAMMERS:
The vast majority of Russian dating scammers are men, mostly working in small gangs in or around Yoshkar Ola, in Mari El republic. It's virtually guaranteed that the girls in these scam pics aren't involved because the scammers steal them from the internet or pay unsuspecting friends for them, or buy and exchange them on scammer websites. (Once a scammer even admitted to stealing them to me). Most scammers are VERY lazy and looking for quick cash. They use email extractor programs to get your mail addresses, and form mails and spam programs on automatic reply, very often the BAT!, which can personalize small parts of each letter. They won't read your letters until after the money letter because they don't have time, ie because they're scamming, or trying to scam, as many guys as they can (economies of scale).....and also because they're semi-literate losers who can't speak much English anyway. IN OTHER WORDS, you can write any crap in your replies and they won't react, they're only interested when they're curious to know if you've taken the bait. The majority of Russian scammers nowadays also use proxy servers or forged IPs to hide their locations. A girl is only involved either occasionally to phone a guy up, especially when he's suspicious, or to pick up the loot at Western Union, with a false ID of course!
So....if several or more of the following criteria apply to your Boris (the beautiful Russian 'girl' that is supposedly writing to you), resist the temptation to help 'the poor girl' by sending her money. You're really writing to a sleazy guy sitting in a smoky room in Yoshkar Ola, with a bunch of other sleazy guys spamming indiscriminately on laptops .
# 'girl' writes to you first on a dating site...especially a free one (or an email appears out of nowhere in your mailbox). Real Russian girls are rarely so bold as to write to you first. (unless you're obviously very attractive or rich :))) They will often reply to your mails, but rarely take the initiative. It's the man who does the chasing in Russia. Plus if they're looking for a partner, they generally prefer him to be Russian speaking and live in Russia. Much more convenient!
# girl's much too young for you (or too good to be true/looks like a model/porno star)....although I have noticed a recent tendency for some scammers to use photos of slightly 'less attractive' girls as well.
# girl has some far-fetched excuses for you not visiting her in Russia (criminal city, not the Russian custom, terrorism, it's her dream to come to your country, etc). ALL BULLSHIT!! Actually, the normal way to meet a Russian girl is to visit her in her city first!
# scammers rarely have children, but most of the real Russian women I've ever met on the internet did (except for Moscow career girls). It's often the reason that they're looking for a partner.
# photos are too revealing (can't be a respectable girl). Respectability is very important to most Russian women (especially Moscow career girls). They're hardly likely to send a half-naked photo to a virtual stranger on the internet. Think with your brain!
# most of the pics are old and a little bit faded with a curiously grainy quality that soon becomes quite easy to recognise (overuse?). Again a scammer admitted to me that low-quality photos are a key factor in his scamming. I found this strange because a serious girl who's looking for a partner usually saves up and goes to a professional to have a studio set done (often corny ones posing with a chair etc), and/or borrows a digicam at least (dates should also be on the photos you receive). My fiancée did it. Russian girls aren't all that poor anymore, and if they seriously want to leave Russia, they know that posting cheap pics will only attract cheap guys.
# girl claims not to have a mobile phone. Very unlikely!!! fer f***'s sake.....do you know a single girl without a mobile phone? Even poor Russian girls can't do without one, they're much cheaper than in Europe and a megafon telephone card doesn't cost that much either. You should be able to call her whenever you want. On the other hand, not having a landline or a desktop/laptop is very common.
# very long rambling/ecstatic form letters with a strange format, punctation and layout written in scamlish. (world's worst Babelfish copy)
# writes long letters everyday in English. How does she have time to write those long letters if she's working? And if she doesn't have a job, how can she afford a computer + internet? Even Internet cafés are relatively expensive in Russia. Anyway, most Russians outside Moscow can hardly speak a word of English. What's the point of finding a girl you can't communicate with, at least on a basic level? + if she can't speak English, why does she have a non-cyrillic email account like gmail or yahoo? Most real Russians use mail.ru, yandex.ru or inbox.ru....though hotmail and yahoo are acceptable if she'll chat with you on messenger (preferably with a webcam).
# doesn't answer direct questions (sometimes factual mistakes in the letter). Her replies should be exactly that...replies...however short they are.
# falls in 'love' very quickly. Don't let your ego or loneliness pull the wool over your eyes. She doesn't know you. You could be an axe murderer for all she knows. Russian TV is full of documentaries about Russian girls who have emigrated and got murdered, abandoned, etcetc.
# uses a proxy server to hide his/her location, ie a SOCKS server / GPRS Internet. if you can't trace 'her' IP, it's 100% scam. THE FIRST THING YOU SHOULD DO IS TRACE HER IP ADDRESS. In fact, that's the only thing you need to do really..
MOST IMPORTANT...if you get this far:
# she asks for money for a tourist 'visa' and/or maybe tickets, ignoring the fact that IT'S VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR A SINGLE RUSSIAN GIRL TO GET A TOURIST VISA TO A WESTERN COUNTRY!
She can get a SPONSORED visa with your help, but then she needs a personal letter of invitation from you, a copy of your passport, a proof of your residence in your home country, a completed sponsor's application form (also from you)....not including the documents that she has to fill in herself. All of these she has to drop off at your national embassy in Moscow WITH PREPAID TICKETS and wait 10 working days. These are the rules for the Schengen countries...the USA and Canada are almost as complicated. Anyway, a normal tourist visa + travel costs + hotel rooms would set her back 2000+ US dollars for a trip to the US. She should be asking you for a lot of money! Why should it be so easy for a gorgeous sexy girl just to jump on a plane and fall into bed with you? Be realistic. In any case, no respectable Russian girl would ask directly for money, but might accept if you insisted.
There are a few scammers that are more patient and professional, who will take months before they scam you for money (though if you follow my tips, you should be able to spot them anyway). There are even a few real girls scamming, and professional gold-diggers (mostly in the Ukraine). One or two of them are very bold, are not even afraid to use their true identities. These scammers are harder to spot, and there is no easy way to identify them, all you can do is use your instincts and common sense.
But a ground rule is: if you are looking for a Russian wife/partner, you must be prepared to travel to Russia to meet her. You also need to behave generously towards her, after all you need to prove that you can support here (and her kids) if she migrates to your country. But if she turns out to be a professional gold-digger, which has never happened to me personally or anyone I know (but I know it does happen), you should try to be philosophical and treat it as an exotic trip to a foreign country, have fun anyway, and try not to waste too much money on her.
There are actually hundreds of perfectly nice Russian girls in Russia but you have to be prepared to go and get them. Chercher la femme. It worked for me.
My scammer Elena Solodvnikova from Perm took the standard pace with one victim for about $8000 (today's exchange rate)
She was multitasking with the patient approach on ... ME
But during that time my economy was declining. By the time she got to me with her moribund mum story, the ONLY way I could save a life was to seek loan from my friends. I got WISDOM instead of loan!
You'll get over it Sverige, there WILL be a brighter day!
anonymous from United States
i got the best story right off the bat.. hot chick and sad story
Hello my dear new friend! To say the truth I haven’t even expect that
you would write me because I’m for the first time in the internet and
almost don’t know how it is working. But I hope that soon I will be
able to understand it better and write you letters every day if you
want to correspond with me more. As for me I think that we can find
much in common. And what about you, Christopher? I think we can be good
friends. The main thing is to have a very big wish and try to
understand each other. Understanding is very important in the
relationship between the people. I think you can ask me why I have
decided to go to the internet to register on this site of
acquaintance. I will try to tell you the truth from the first letter,
I don’t want us to hide anything from each other because it is also
very important for me to be truth that the person whom I want to get
acquainted with knows me and have the imagination about the person
with whom he corresponds. I hope you understand me, Christopher, and
won’t hide anything from me too. Don’t be afraid, Christopher, I
think bad of you even if you tell me any bad facts from your life
because I am such a person who can understand and share feelings and
thoughts of other people. Ok, Christopher, I will continue to write you
the reasons of my registering on this site. It is a very sad story. I
had a boyfriend here in my town, his name was Roman. We have been
studying together at school in one class and had big love to each
other. As for me I loved him with all my heart and thought that we
would be together forever. We understood each other without words and
enjoyed our love every day. I think you can understand me, Christopher,
because in my opinion every person has felt it even though one time in
his life. We were going to marry after studying at the university and
dream about our life together, about children that we would give a
birth but when we both were 21 years old a very awful tragedy happened
to us. We liked going for a drive on bicycles and one shiny summer day
when we were going to the beach of our river Volga to have sunbathe,
we saw a very big cargo car that raced on us. We didn’t think that it
could be dangerous but the driver of it was very drunk and he
misdirected my boyfriend on a bicycle. I was shocked and
unconsciousness. I remembered it vaguely but a very awful thing for me
was that Roman dyed on my hands because of many traumas he got. It is
very very awful to lose the person whom you love and see how he say
goodbye to the life. I remember very well his eyes at that moment. He
wanted to say to me something but he couldn’t. I cried a lot and
thought that it was an awful dream and when I opened my eyes I would
have understood that I simply was sleeping and my lovely person would
be alive. But it was a terrible reality. I didn’t want to believe in
it. I thought of committing suicide because I don’t want to live
in this world without the person I loved. I was used to him and
imagine my life without him. I still remember this accident. And now
when I write you it I cry because remember it again and don’t want to
believe it. This tragedy will always be in my mind. After that I
couldn’t sleep for a big period of time. I was going to the
psychologist and took medicines for depression that I had that time. I
hope you will understand my sincerity. Now four years later I feel
much better, I understood that I should live in spite of the fact that
he is not with me. I saw a dream one night where Roman said to me that
life continued and he wanted to see me happy and want me to find a man
who would be worthy to share my life with, who would love me not less
him and who would take care of me. When I awoke I thought a lot about
it and thought that maybe he was right and I really should be happy. I
think that he was honest and said it to me with sincerity. But it was
difficult for me to get acquainted with new people because I became
unaccustomed to it. I was so used to Roman and he was not only my
boyfriend but also he was my friend he was everything for me, the
person due to whom I breathe, eat, sleep and live. We had many common
friends but almost all the time we spent together. That’s why I had
a need to have the best girlfriend. Roman was the man whom I trusted
all my secrets, everything that worried me a lot. I loved him…Now I
think a lot about for what I loved him and can enumerate a lot of his
assets but maybe I loved him not for what he was, I loved him for what
I was with him. Do you understand me, Christopher? I hope I didn’t
you with my story in the first letter. But I really need such a person
in my life who will understand me and will share my feelings and
thoughts. That’s why I decided to get acquainted with somebody in the
internet because for me it is more simply than to get acquainted with
somebody in person. I begin to shy and become nervous. That’s why all
my thoughts are about what to say how it to say and the contact become
not sincere. But writing letters through the internet can be more
useful for the persons who want to become closer, we don’t see our
eyes and can tell everything to each other honesty. Am I right,
Christopher? I also wanted you to be honesty with me and to hear your
story about why you have decided to get acquainted with me over
internet? As for me I have chosen you because after reading your
profile I understood that we approach each other. We have some common
things in our characters and to be the truth I simply liked you. I
decided to try to write you, who knows maybe you would write me back
and you have written. I was really glad to see your letter in my mail
box today because I was waiting for it with impatience. I’m very
thankful for it to you. Maybe we will be able to learn later that we
don’t approach each other but we will be able to be good friends,
Christopher. I hope you are not against it. Ok, I think I have written
you a lot today, moreover my time in the internet ends and I should
say good-bye to you. I hope to get an answer from you as soon as
possible. Take care, Sincerely, Your new Russian friend, Yuliya!
Just recently I have recieved e-mails from woman from Russia.Her address is firstname.lastname@example.org (Alla). Has this woman have a history of scamming other people?
Hey annonymous How ru buddy. Hey ru talking abt this chic. Hey plz post some fotos as I have recd mails not from this email id but it seems to me the same person as she has kitty in her mail id and her name is Alla. Can u plz post her pics here thanks Bud..
Hey buddy I found my girl she is here, is she the same for you I am posting the thread here...