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.
Woman Gets Two Years for Aiding Nigerian Internet Check Scam
- A Washington woman was sentenced on Wednesday to two years in prison
and five years of supervised release for her role in an Internet
counterfeit check scheme.
Edna Fiedler pleaded guilty in March to attempting to defraud U.S.
citizens in a scheme known as a Nigerian check scam.
Fiedler helped her accomplices in Nigeria send fake checks to people
who had agreed to cash the checks on behalf of the sender, keeping some
of the proceeds and sending the rest back.
The Nigerians found people willing to cash the fake checks via e-mail.
They would send their names as well as fake documents that looked like
Wal-Mart money orders, Bank of America checks, U.S. Postal Service
checks and American Express traveler's checks to Fiedler. They told her
how to fill out the checks and where to send them.
The recipients most likely thought they were helping out someone who
needed a person in the U.S. to cash a check for them, according to the
U.S. Department of Justice. They were able to get the money by cashing
the checks, and sent most of it to either Fiedler or her Nigerian
accomplices. However, once the checks were discovered to be fake, the
people who cashed them were responsible for the full amount.
All told, Fiedler sent out US$609,000 worth of phony checks and money
orders. When U.S. Secret Service agents investigating the case searched
Fiedler's house, they found additional fake checks worth more than $1.1
million that she was preparing to send out.
At a recent conference in Seattle, a representative from the U.S.
Postal Service and Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna
described ways they're working to shut down these kinds of scams,
particularly because they often involve people who don't realize that
they're taking part in illegal activities.
The U.S. Postal Service recently sent 15 postal investigators to Lagos,
Nigeria, and during a three-month period there, they helped intercept
counterfeit checks, lottery tickets and eBay overpayment schemes with a
face value of $2.1 billion, Chris Siouris, a cyber investigator at the
U.S. Postal Inspector, said at the recent conference. Siouris, McKenna
and others are pushing for ways to better educate Internet users so
that people don't unwittingly help out in these kinds of e-mail scams.
OJAS from United States
Not knit-picking here, unfortunately contracted delphi hot-links cannot copy paste. They have to be opened in a new tab / window, then the URL from the address bar is good for copy / paste.
@newbies To allow copy / paste, and prevent delphi from contracting and creating a hot-link, one way is to Capitalize the first character with H as in Http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/147575
For the opposite effect of creating a hot-link while possibly destroying copy / paste capability with delphi contracting URLs longer than 29 characters with ellipses .. leave the first character with lower case h as in http://tech.yahoo.c..rld/147575
anonymous from France
scammer looking for money for visa. her email firstname.lastname@example.org
Rue Pouchkine Maison 3 Appartement 8
Yuliya Popova is a news and feature reporter for Russia Today.
A native Ukrainian, she spent most of the year reporting from Kiev on a range of issues.Yuliya brought regular live updates on the gas supply stand-off between Russia and Ukraine, parliamentary elections in March and the political crisis in Ukraine’s parliament, the Supreme Rada.
In live interviews with political experts, she discussed economic and social change in Ukraine after the Orange Revolution. In Russia, Yuliya reported on the bird flu outbreaks in remote villages, the collapse of a Moscow market building, radical nationalist demonstrations and the crash of an Armenian aircraft near Sochi, in southern Russia.
Before joining Russia Today, Yuliya freelanced for commercial and community radio stations in the north of England, presenting radio reports on terrorist attacks in London and parliamentary elections in England.
Juliya was awarded a BA degree in business administration from the International Christian University, Vienna-Kiev before receiving a post-graduate degree in bi-media journalism from Trinity and All Saints College, Leeds, England.
email@example.com from Martinsville, United States
Here is my suspected to good to
Hey my love, I have got all the info and resend to you,
you see I am after visit to consulate and agency and I am so happy to
we will meet in a few days!!!!
I am really lucky girl to meet you.Honey the thing is that I booked
flight .I need only your help. there is only a small problem but I am
sure we will be able to solve.I wanted to
ask you to help me to pay for tickets but they tell that
I can't use your help or ask you about sending me tickets because I
permission to use the help of agency only because they do all travel
things and it is their
business to arrange all travel things for my jorney,it is the law.and
it is not
possible to get work visa without help of agency,too strong laws.
I was sure that my mom will help me becasue she promised but now she
that it is possible only in a few months or so because of
family problems.and she can't send transfer now.I was in the bank to
try to ask
them about loan but they tell I have to have something to stay them
and I have nothing to stay because I have only a few
dress and things,some perfume and it is all I have,and small gift for
russia with love.and I think it is not great problem for you
to help me.I even think that maybe it will give you the pleasure to
because you are my knight,rught? after all payments here and travel by
plane I have about 300$ my own money and
I need about 990$ from your side,because I have to pay for ticket and a
few thigs yet,and I have to pay in advance about 1290$ and if the
cost less i will get some money back. when we meet
I will return this sum and some extra money because to send thransfer
money too.I have to be sure that I will be able to book it or I will
lose all the money I gave them
in advance.I'm not going to ask one more time for your
help,you see I am in hard situation.I will be waiting for your answer
.I know it
sounds like I am pooroutsider but you see I have not
time or somebody to ask about help,you know my mom gave me all that we
could collect for my travel.I hate to ask but now I don't have any
other choice.you saw all my body and I believe you I have
done almost all here and now I need some help from you,please help me
to leave Moscow and
it is all I ask now and you know I am full of the love to share with
you, counting days and minutes before our meeting.you know 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
my life.I know you are kind man and I do hope you will be
able to help me.I promise I will return all the money .and I will earn
because I am ready to work as hard as possible!
Million Kisses, Your poor Anna
you know my rent address here is Russia, Moscow,
zip 129346, Naproudnaya street 11 flat 29. Remember that my full name
is Wotintseva -(last name) . Anna - (first
name) it is right writting in English, and you should put it on
western union list and you can choice any bank in moscow,they tell it
international service and I can get money in any bank of
moscow. they tell I can get only western union transfer because I have
bank accounts in moscow and I have only passport and it is
enough to get it! P.S. I am not sure I should tell this but I want to
know that if you don't like me I will not bother you and it is only
your choice to spend time with me I
know you may be too busy,and in any case I will return money back .you
will have rent room ,job and I want to say that you don't worry that I
want to use you just for my goals.and I
am sure that when we meet we will not regret about
it,promise,and I hate people who imagined so many silly rules and
have only small suitcase with me.and I dream about our first
meeting,our first night and I have some sexy night dress with me! and
that now everything depends on you my hope and I will check my mail all
day and all night
because i can't sleep if I am not sure that everything is all right and
you can help,please dear don't
leave me alone i have done so much and I am almost near you.
and I can stay more than six months,I can stay longer it is possible if
in love and going to marry.But I think we need time to learn each
and as soon as I got transfer ,they tell in the bank you should send me
number and I will be able to get transfer then,
I will send exact schedule and number of the flight and terminal number
of my arriving to your airport.
Not meaning to gripe (ok, that's a lie) but why is this guys' picture here? Is he a scammer? Is he advertizing? Common anonymos. Give us some info! I think pictures like this, with no information should not be allowed here.
anonymous from United Kingdom
I know her as Kate or Ekaterina 26 years
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