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.
This is a new one. I have repeatedly googled the email address and came up with nothing. I finally googled the first sentence or two and got a link that took me to a gay cowboy dating site. The letter on that site was Identical, but signed with a different name. This one told me her name is Tessy Harry born in America but currently in Nigeria. First red flag. Her email address is email@example.com. Here is the first letter and the picture.
Hello Dear Precious king
How are you doing today, my name is Tessy Harry... And i hope you're having a very wonderful and warm day there? Well Am Just taking a little of my time going through some profiles on here. And found your profiles . , it's was so nice, it's really touched the most special part of my heart and since i saw your profiles,And I wink at you....... i can't express my feeling's anymore. , you're looking so angelic and i think angels like you live in the heaven,but i guess maybe God except you to spend the rest of your life with a very nice and genuine Woman like i do. Well am a very honest,carring,loving,gentlesoul,attractive,affection,very romantic,passionate,sensitive,respective,and am a woman with a great sence of humor who's not afraid to show his feeling's. Well am new to this site though and havn't found much profiles, but when i look at your's, really it's good to be true. it's make's me feel more better cos i don't think Man like you are still existing on this earth,. Well let me start with introducing myself to you. I am single female 29yrs and i have never been married and now i am searching for a real relation ship until i saw ur profile and i was born in Canada and raised up in Ohio(Cable). I'm the only Daughter's of my both parent, and and they passed away some years ago, And after this happend. I decide to Leave New York and come to my town New York here to settle down for the rest of my life with another life. and with a Man that i will spend the rest of my life with. A Man who will be honest to me, who i can give my heart with no doubt. Am a very honest woman that no matter what condition i may be . i would alway's remain honest, and alot of people call me sexy girl but i am right in NIGERIA due to my grandma illness but i thank God everything is well with her and i hope very soon i will plan on getting back to the state and settle down with the right man to be my husband. Well to tell you more about my work. I have been to so many countries and Im into Travelling/tourism ... also love the buying and selling of clothing and shoes. I live alone in a 2 bedroom flat..... but will like to settle down with my partner and invest on our own and i don't mind to relocate when i found the right,distance dose't matter in relationship.. . about what i do like doing for fun, I do like swimming,playing golf game,I do like Music and Sport's And I'm So good in Playing Piano And i do sing too. cos am a good singer. And am very good in writting poet's and love poems and love reading Bible i can sing love song's alot. wow. am a very good lover and it would be nice to meet you and see if God make her destiny of living goes the same way. Well I want you to know that HOW TO WIN, FIND AND KEEP THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE IN 30 DAYS OR LESS. I have some SHOCKING news for you. You may be days away from meeting THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE. This is not a pitch for a self help book or a dating service or an irresistible love potion or a pyschic astrological-past life love chart. So what is this about? It is about me. I very much want to find a VERY SPECIAL MAN to love and enjoy and respect. Maybe YOU are Are? I KNOW you are out there somewhere. But I have recently realised that I would have to do something DRASTIC to get your attention, while weeding out all the CRAZIES, LOSERS and DUM-DUMS who are keeping us from meeting each other.
Looking forward reading your sweetest email soon and i would like you to down load yahoo messanger so we can chat much better online, Here is my yahoo ID (jessica_4real09) or send me message on my personal address which is (firstname.lastname@example.org). Take good care of yourself and stay blessed.
Lots Kiss and Hug for you.
SCAMMERS USING THIS SITE!!!!
even name the site!!!! I wonder why ??: seems a daft idea:
4 X E-MAILS OVER LAST FEW DAYS
----- Original Message -----
From: Tessy Daniel
Sent: Monday, June 30, 2008 10:21 PM
How are you doing in life, I Want to introduce my self to you before i could go further, i am lady tessy by name i came accross your contact at
(delphifaq.com) which really sound so interesting of you so i decided to drop a note to let you know that i am intrested in you for friendship that may lead to serious relationship,Please if you are interested i will like you to e-mail me back with my e-mail address so that i can send you my photos and tell you more about myself. email@example.com is my email i am waiting to get a reply from you,
Yours New Friend
1 X E-MAIL
----- Original Message -----
From: sint love
Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2008 11:16 PM
How are you doing in life, I Want to introduce my self to you before i could go further, i am lady joram by name i came accross your contact at
(delphifaq.com) which really sound so interesting of you so i decided to drop a note to let you know that i am intrested in you for friendship that may lead to serious relationship,Please if you are interested i will like you to e-mail me back with my e-mail address so that i can send you my photos and tell you more about myself. firstname.lastname@example.org is my email i am waiting to get a reply from you,
Yours New Friend
Lady Joran and Lady Missy Tessy, Appears with names like that probably Africian origan:
LORD 'XXXXXX' FROM UK
Peter from Germany
received one of these mails too. They are using web-crawlers that are looking in the whole internet for email-addies. Guess you puplished yours here. See these bracket at delphifaq? They don't know how to handle placeholders.
I traced the IP from 'sint love'. It's from Dakar, Senegal.
Here the header:
Received: from [188.8.131.52] by web45710.mail.sp1.yahoo.com via HTTP; Tue, 01 Jul 2008 13:47:58 PDT
Date: Tue, 1 Jul 2008 13:47:58 -0700 (PDT)
From: Sint Love <email@example.com>
OJAS from United States
Copy / Paste the addresses from here and send to the latest Senegal sweetheart
Blacklisted Emails of Russian Dating Scammers Http://www.delphifaq.com/faq/russian_marriage_scams/f1102.shtml http://www.delphifa..1102.shtml
anonymous from United States
this is a scam
Peter from Germany
Tessy Daniel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
'... i came accross your contact at (delphifaq.com)...
Anybody else got mail from Rava Grain, subject 'accosted piezometric', <email@example.com>? If so it should be forwarded. It is nicely contaminated.
anonymous from France
je suis d' accord avec certains anonymes ' Marina volykhina' n' existe pas, il ou elle veut voler de l' argent, pour moi elle m' a demander de l' argent pour payer son billet pour venir me voir! merci
[hidden] from Mölnlycke, Sweden
Hello guys, hope that you are all ok!
Home from hospital, perhaps not in the best of shapes, but i will survive. But first:
THANK YOU ALL for cheering greetings, emails and get-better-cards! You guys are great!
And as soon as i get home; i find Miss tessy in my mailbox... Isn't it quite funny that they even try to do this from Delphi? Lowlifes...
Anyway; for a while i will not have chance to be active that much, it still hurts a lot off and on. But i'll be here every now and then.
Once again; thank you all for greeting cards and mails, my heart feels warm for you all.
I was hoping that somebody could help me? Does anybody recognise this woman?
She goes by the name of Elena or Lena but her propa name is Ekaterina Kovshova?
She has been emailing somebody I know, and wants money to come to this country!!
Please advise if anybody has any pics or knows of her!
Peter from Germany
anonymous, 2008-07-03, 14:18:33 (updated: 2008-07-03, 14:21:23)
I pity to tell you there is no 'she'. There never was. Been there myself.
OJAS from United States
(1) Proud Russian girls never ask money from strangers
(2) You can't even be sure whether a girl is writing to you at all
anonymous from Kelowna, Canada
Hey I pissed off with this scammer and wrote this letter to this bitch.I just about fell into her trap guys,but she wouldn't answer my questions when writting back to me.She wouldn't give me her address so I told her I wouldn't send her $$$ and then everything fell apart--My letter that I sent---
Hey you lying cunt don't you have anything better to do then cheat,lye,scam men.Guess what there is a site with your pictures and letters that you fucking wrote for everyone to know all the diffrent names that you scam with---YOUR RED FLAGGED YOU FUCKING CUNT!!!Your pathetic and are a fucking low life piece of shit---fuck you and I will personally make a point of notifing every dating site about your scamming---your fucking finished you lying bitch,I break your heart you fucking cunt---FUCK YOU!!!!!!
After I sent this her pictures where no longer available.If any one goes to see her,slam that fucking pussy hard.Watch your back because you might get robbed or shit kicked by her associates.Thanks for the site and don't send $$$ to strangers.Maybe it's better to find some canadian pussy!!!
Qualcuno Ã¨ venuto in contatto con questa donna??Forte sospetto di scammer Grazie
Regarding this woman. You said, 'She goes by the name of Elena or Lena but her propa name is Ekaterina Kovshova? She has been emailing somebody I know, and wants money to come to this country!! Please advise if anybody has any pics or knows of her! Thanks.' She has been active on the website SugarDaddyForMe.com, and is always soliciting money, so for sure she is a scammer and golddigger.
firstname.lastname@example.org from Pakistan
HELLO HRU MY NAME MUHAMMAD OWAIS FROM PAKISTAN I M VERY GOOD LOOKING PERSON MARKETING SALES DEPARTMENT CELL PHONE I LOOKING MY LIFE PARTNER I HOPE GOD HELP GOD IS GREAT ALL TIME WITH ME ////email@example.com thxxxxxxxxxxxx byyyyyyyyyyyyyy