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.
Yana wrote furiously for two weeks posing she has received a posting in a nursing position in Oslo and and has everything ready. Rushing to Moscow to complete the procedures and shall be with me in two days. In the end she said the sponsor of the programme now demands applicant are now resposible for their fair and by implication if I want to see I send 1500 dollars. Later reduced to 900 then 450. I ininformed her that the Russian marraige bureau under the auspices of the OsloChamber of Commerce has said we must not send our girlfriends money.
She woefully said she was going home to Igarka and would soon, and has not been heard from since.
When a picture is modified, delphi search will miss - [Some of my friends use a reverese slide-show for searching]
from United States
how about a girl listed on match.com says she's from Poway, Calif. but really from Romania. Name Danutz, friends call her Danny. Lots of pictures
anonymous from United States
Vika is currently on a penpal site called penpalsjpg.com, using email@example.com.
I just received her 5th mail yesterday. I'm going to play this!
anonymous from United States
As I expected I just received this email from Vika via Kissylka@gamil.com
firstname.lastname@example.org' to me
show details 11:21 am (2 hours ago)
I was fantastically happy to receive your letter.
You at all do not imagine what pleasure and is warm in my heart bring your letters.
I am glad that I have YOU. You the person to which I can let into the secrets all.
I have not enough such people. To such people I can attribute the parents.
Ah yes I went to my parents and now I shall inform you their reaction to our acquaintance.
They were very glad, when I have told them that have got dating with you. That they it is more
Represented about you, I have unpacked yesterday in the Internet the centre your letters.
They at me do not know the English language, therefore I had to them to translate.
If to tell in a word their reaction to our acquaintance I shall tell, that they were glad to this.
Time I started the letter on parents, I would like to tell to you about them more in detail.
My mum call Olga. To her 52 years. She on education the teacher. She has worked all life
In a kindergarten. This establishment where I bring up children of preschool age. She very much likes her work.
As she very much loves children. I think, that I have adopted this property at mine scold. I too love children.
Now she works there 23 year. It will be fast she on pension. Her main dream that I have found liked
Persons also it was happy with him. She very kind and pleasant woman. To her I can entrust all.
And I know, that she is always ready me to help. What problem at me would not happen.
My father call Vitaly. To him 55 year. he works in security agency. At present he
Works as the security guard in the big shop. It Supermarket seems at you refers to as. he from the childhood
Took a great interest in sports. he has finished sports faculty of the State institute. And further he became the sportsman.
he seriously took a great interest in boxing. In 1979 he became the master of sports on boxing. In the childhood he borrowed
Prize-winning places among our city. But then he has met my mum. And they have begun to create family.
he has thrown sports and has gone to work. But till now he sometimes about two times per one week goes to sports
Hall to support itself in the good sports form. My parents live together 28 years.
For this time they very seldom quarreled. They have transferred all care and love to me. I am very glad
That at me such good parents.
Well YOU have learned about my parents. Tell to me more in detail about the relatives. It would be pleasant for me
Is closer to learn your family.
I shall finish the letter.
I wait from you for the answer.
I certainly can't wait until passport and air ticket request starts!!!!
IFR from United States
So far sounds like a nice girl....she likes Eddie....calls him artful........
I was amazed to find this site! In England I feel that I will never be scammed because you know what you're dealing with. i.e 'Youve won top prize in a competition someone in your household entered. Call this number' Yeah, right!
However, when a pretty Russian girl contacts you out of the blue your heart would like to believe that it could be for real...
I have been contacted by such a girl called Evdokija. I have searched photo galleries on scam sites listed here and have found no matches. Her story sounds plausible enough. No requests for money, yet, sent her mailing address without prompting etc. On the downside there are a few phrases which have cropped up on other scammers profiles such as; father was a military man, killed in auto crash, she works as a dance instructor and has a certificate plus she sends a couple of new photos each time.
She claims to be 26 years old (from Moshkovo) and says her mother is 46. One of her photos though included a picture of her sister ( looked similar ) but I would have put her age at about thirty-something. If she were say 33 then her mother would have been very young to give birth!!
Anyone else heard from her?
OJAS from United States
Anon UK - I have seen on this site sisters of the ages you mention. Post Header (minus your personal info). More info below all these posts in the Welcome /primer thread in red banner. The post below welcome has e-mail section for Header, IP and more. Happy New Year!
IFR from United States
anon usa...it seems Vika has coined some new words from our msn talks. Supermarket is one. You have an original letter there. Good luck with her...she wont talk to me anymore and deleted her email address that all our correspondence was on. She does read the stuff on here. Yes she is very pretty.Before 9-11 i think a girl trying to get out of russia was quite a bit easier. I have known a few and they did it on their own with money from a US boyfriend........Times have changed......Kenny....rhymes with Eddie...i think he knows more than hes telling.......
OJAS....still not sure about this one......our conversations have nothing to do with passport, visa and flight tickets. They are about money though which is why i was cut off. I was going to meet her but chickened out...something just isnt right....Ken
OJAS from United States
Ken - Vika doesn't fall into the catergory of standard scammers in Yoshkar-Ola. She invents unusual methods. In one instance she invites an American to visit her, but he has to buy ticket from her travel agent, by sending money to Russia first.
She knows for Americans to get a passport new or renewal takes about 6 months. After that one more month (at least) for a Russian visa. Time is now on her side to work this victim, while also fishing for new ones.
In her thread you will see she made 3450, 1500, 1750 from 3 victims.
In scam cases it is your money that first goes to Russia. With real (intentioned) girls, it is you who goes to Russia first; Your travel agent in your local phone book, not in Russia.
Her e-mail is a dead give-away. She has no reason to set up a foreign e-mail account. She can chat / e-mail using Russian domains for googlemail, yahoo, msn, many more. If you post full header in her own thread, future guys will find it. If you need details about header, IP etc., they are in the e-mail section below the Welcome message http://www.delphifa..2412.shtml