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.
You mean you don't spell authorities wit a 'z'? Gee. I learn new stuff every day!
999MoreEvil from Australia
Tony lol you guys and girls crack me up it is worth the entrance fee for the humor : )
cheers to all
Tony from United States
Glad to be of service. And on that note a little something for you.
999MoreEvil from Australia
Cheers Tony I knew she was evil before but now whoa real evil I'll post it back to them : ))
Tony from United States
Cool. Glad you liked the pic. Want to see it talk? Enail me at email@example.com and I'll send it.
999MoreEvil from Australia
thanks Tony but it is scary enough as it is I just sent with the original and a few other scammer photos as well including your Olga cheers and take care
You know I was really starting to believe this 'girl' until I came accross this site....she goes by the names Alora Sarah,Sarah Smith and Viviene Sarah Smith.She said she is the daughter of a rich oil contractor who lives in Nigeria.Her father died and left her 500 acres of prime land that she recently sold and she wanted me to pay a security company to have the money(1.5million) sent to me....first a payment for $800 to have it shipped to me then a $1500 fee for Anti Drug and Anti money laundering certificates and then it was $4000 for a tranfer of ownership.....what a bunch of shit!
Well, 999moreEvil, Just post any other picture you like and I'll be happy to do something with it. Keeps me out of trouble with the wife at least. I have a new scammer I am working on. Said she found my ad on a site I haven't belong to in months! Cheers!
Tony from United States
Maybe a little better picture of the 'horse lover' lady.
Don´t beleve in her!!!
hello,this is the info I have got from agency and
I think I have the problem. and it seems to me I need your help because
I must get this flight and nearest possible flight for me only in December and
I hate to imagine if something goes wrong, I have done too much to lose all now.
I know it sounds like I am pooroutsider but you see I have not time or somebody
to ask about help and I have nobody to help me, you know my relatives gave me all
that we could collect for my travel. I hate to ask but now I don't have any other choice.
I booked the tickets but I can pass my interview only when I pay for my tickets,
I didn't know about it. I ca receive my visa only after I pay my tickets so they want to be sure
I have a roundtrip tickets so I am not going to stay there illegally.
I think their rules are too strict...
The problem is that everything is getting more exspensive.
Oh, I forgot to tell you that the date of my return flight can be changed.
I promise that I will return all the money I borrow as soon as I can.
I will get salary and collect the sum you lend me, it is only money ,and I think that
it is not too hard for you to help me. You see I have such chance only once in my life.
I know you are kind man and I do hope you will be able to help me.
I was in the bank to try to ask them about credit but they tell I have to have something
to leave them and I have nothing to leave because I have only some clothes, some parfume
and it is all I have, and small gift for you from russia with love People in the bank
gave me an advise that if I have good friend (I told them about my problems and you )
that you may send me money very fast,
they tell that there is the system Western Union or MoneyGram
and it works very fast, I am not sure I know how it works but they tell you need
only my name and address here in St-Petersburg and
I have to have only passport to get it in any bank of St-Petersburgand only
I can get the money when you send it,I think it is good way and like
I was explained it is very safe and takes a few minutes only.
I have about 650$ yet and I need about 740$ from your side, you can send me it ?
I am talking about American dollars. After getting money
I will make all payment and I will have an interview, it is a must.
I also have good news!!! They say I can stay longer than three months
I can stay about six months for first time.
I will have to change the date of my returning flight only.
I also want to say that you don't have to worry if you don't like me or something
in my charachter I will not disturb you. It is only your wish to share your time with me,
and money is money, I will return it all to you anyway.
I am sorry for such a cold letter but I am getting crazy to think that you can just
don't reply and I will stay here without any result of all my hopes and dreams , and hard work too.
Oh, silly me!
I almost forgot to give you my full name and
my address here in St-Petersburg( where I rent a room).
Country : Russia
Address: Gogolya 21 - 109
postal code (zip) : 195396
First name : Albina
Last Name : Aytakowa
You should put this info on their list and send me info when you send me the money.
I will need to know MTCN (money transfer control number) which will
be given to you when you send me the money and your full name.
Well I will finish this letter since I am a little tired and feel not well.
I know that it is hard decision for you because you don't know me well enough,
but dear please help me and you will not sorry of it I promise!!!
Please don't leave me alone in hard minute I will pay the same when we meet!!!