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.
Stop sending money. It's a Nigerian scammer! Have a look a this. It's a classical example:
Van: Miss Vivian
Datum: 21-4-2008 21:23:01
Onderwerp: FROM VIVIAN NNA
I'M SORRY TO COME TO YOU IN THIS WAY , I COME ACROSS YOU ADS AND MY SPIRIT LEAD ME TO CHOSE YOU. WELL I REALLY NEEDED SOMEONE HONEST, TRUTHFUL TO SHARE MY FEELINGS WITH AND TO SHARE BURDEN WITH AND WILL LEAD ME TO INTRODUCED MYSELF TO YOU.I AM VIVIAN NNA THE ONLY CHILD AND DAUGHTER OF LATE MR. HERMANN NNA.MY FATHER WAS A VERY WEALTHY COCOA MERCHANT BASED IN ABIDJAN, THE ECONOMIC CAPITAL OF IVORY COAST BEFORE HE WAS POISONED TO DEATH BY HIS BUSINESS ASSOCIATES ON ONE OF THEIR OUTING TO DISCUSS ON A BUSINESS.
WHEN MY MOTHER DIED ON THE 15TH DECEMBER 2000, MY FATHER TOOK ME SO SPECIAL BECAUSE I WAS MOTHERLESS. BEFORE THE DEATH OF MY FATHER ON 25TH JUNE 2006 IN A PRIVATE HOSPITAL HERE IN ABIDJAN. HE SECRETLY CALLED ME ON HIS BEDSIDE AND TOLD ME THAT HE HAS A SUM OF US$ 5,500,000 (FIVE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND, UNITED STATES DOLLARS) WAS DEPOSITED AT THE SUSPENCE ACCOUNT IN A LOCAL BANK HERE IN ABIDJAN, THAT HE USED MY NAME AS HIS ONLY DAUGHTER AND THE PERSON THAT WILL INHERIT THE DEPOSITED FUND . HE ALSO EXPLAINED TO ME THAT IT WAS BECAUSE OF THIS WEALTH THAT HE WAS POISONED BY HIS BUSINESS ASSOCIATES. THAT I SHOULD SEEK FOR A FOREIGN PARTNER IN A COUNTRY OF MY CHOICE WHERE I WILL TRANSFER THIS MONEY AND USE IT FOR INVESTMENT PURPOSE, (SUCH AS REAL ESTATE MANAGEMENT).. NOW, I AM HONOURABLY SEEKING YOUR ASSISTANCE IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS.
( 1)TO PROVIDE A BANK ACCOUNT WHERE THIS MONEY WOULD BE TRANSFERRED TO
( 2)TO SERVE AS THE GUARDIAN OF THIS FUND SINCE I AM A GIRL OF 23 YEARS
3)TO MAKE ARRANGEMENT FOR ME TO COME OVER TO YOUR COUNTRY AFTER THE MONEY HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED.
MOREOVER, I AM WILLING TO OFFER YOU 20% OF THE TOTAL SUM AS COMPENSATION FOR YOUR EFFORT/INPUT AFTER THE SUCCESSFUL TRANSFER OF THIS FUND TO YOUR NORMINATED ACCOUNT OVERSEAS. FURTHERMORE, YOU CAN INDICATE YOUR OPTION TOWARDS ASSISTING ME AS I BELIEVE THAT THIS TRANSACTION WOULD BE CONCLUDED WITHIN SEVEN (7) DAYS YOU SIGNIFY INTEREST TO ASSIST ME.
ANTICIPATING TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON.
THANKS AND GOD BLESS
Received: from [184.108.40.206] by web92205.mail.cnh.yahoo.com via HTTP; Tue, 22 Apr 2008 03:22:49 CST
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2008 03:22:49 +0800 (CST)
From: Miss Vivian <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: FROM VIVIAN NNA
Content-Type: multipart/alternativboundary= '0-585387981-1208805769=:25897'
X-Spam-Score: 6.3 (++++++)
Don't let them fool you! Do not send anymore money!
Dirk from Heerlen, Netherlands
To all Dutch @Home-users,
We all receive messages like this one for months now. It is Phishing-mail. Do not answer it! Never give away your private information.
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this woman send me also e.mails by name maria biologist
anonymous from United States
i new something was fishy right away and when she sent me a pic of moscow, i could tell by the geogrophy it was shit.
Thanks for having this sight
anonymous from Australia
Gentle men and women start your engines I have discovered or worked out the weakness to these scammers it is the size of file you can send to an email address
some email accounts allow 1 meg some 2 meg some 5 meg create a directory with the appropriate size filled with junk files but I suggest bmp picture files as it would take few files but would have the desired affect.
post your message to the scammer in the subject of the email one letter at a time with the directory attached .
the scammers weakness is there greed and bandwidth
how long does it take to down load several hundred mega bytes even with high speed internet
plus how big is an email box on a sever you can stop when your mail bounces back the in box is full
it is time to spam the scammers
anonymous from Australia
Update to the message above
gmail accepts wmv files up to 2 meg so you can record abuse and send it to the scammer in any language you choose to speak
yet to test on yahoo mail
but will keep you up dated
spamming the scammers I like it :)
Tony from United States
anonymous from Australia
In some places gmail will accept more that a 2 meg file as I have sent some bigger than that to people. But your idea is good.
OJAS from United States
Thanks Oz mates, and American buddy!
Scammers' phase 2 begin when victim responds to the money letter, and they actually start reading mails from then on. So, ... I am working on some real lengthy phase 2 answers for them, ... Surveys, erotica, etc., and money subject ONLY towards the end of each mail! ... To be continued ...
anonymous from Australia
I just recieved one today (24/4/08 at 6.50am).
Cliams to be a Russian girl from Kinderi.
I've done a few checks on all the details I have collected with the information she gave me about herself, and the information she didnt know that she had given me. I have tracked some of these SCAMS to actually be from the USA and England. I am still trying to translate some more information I have just recieved. moodle.viu.edu is part of the E-mail address that this scammer had tryed to use. in full: Anastasia@moodle.viu.edu.
This is just one of the websites that I have found. It is infact a School. Virginia, USA.
Virginia International University Online Course Management System is the source of some emails.
I have now gain access to their school, and have found the person who had sent me the scam mail. I have been in contact with police who have contacted interPol, and US police and computer crimes departments.
I did this in only a few hours. This posting was gradual as I completed this. This just shows that you can catch these PRICKS out if you go hard at them.
I have sent about 10 meg of porn in 2 meg chucks to a money laundry I traced to Chantilly Virginia could be the same scammer as mentioned above
It was the middle of the night and I got tired I had only just come up with the idea to flood their in boxes so give me a break if they respond with abuse I'll really go to town.
The first thing I did was post the idea here :)
I have also discovered that if you send them a txt file as an attachment they will not respond.
they may think it is a tracking Trojan or virus and will not open it and will not bother replying.
here is the email of the laundry have fun spamming