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.
i think this girl might be up set if she was told what her pics wher doing
im sorry i have to do this what she is doing isnt good she dint get money from me bt she did try and she is going by the name email@example.com to bad i hope the next guy dont get bent over the table
Ninja from Sweden
Not my first time here, but being a victim of some girls/men that tried to scam me....
certain things comes to mind
Ghana, Nigeria, Russia or former sovjet republics and the philliphines.....
anonymous from Tulsa, United States
Well, she (he???) finally did it................hit me up for money. It took several emails and quite a story about moving and jobs and..............! I am still toying with the situation. Having fun making it sound like I will send money soon. Still not sure if it's a real gal or not. I have added a pic for others to see who to watch for (not the nudie pic althougth many would enjoy it, Ha Ha!)
I hope no one really falls for this kind of crap.
anonymous from Tulsa, United States
One more thing.............the email used is firstname.lastname@example.org
Another pic too
I've been having fun with this. I gave fake Western Union numbers for the airline tickets. Here is the latest note. Also, a passport was sent which I've seen on this site already. My next note back is when I will send pics that they haven't sent me yet but I have found on this site and tell them I found these and wondered if they had them.
Here is the last letter:
Hello dear Gerry!
Your number is not correct!!!! It should be 10 digital money transfer number!!!!!
I am sorry about all the problems with the money!
But without your help I will not be able to fly to you.
Mother gave me almost all the money that she had to
help me out with this journey.
If you can not help me, I will be returning to home.
But I do not want to be lonely again.
I do not want to return home.
I do not want to stay in Moscow either.
More than anything else, I would like to continue the trip!
I want you! I want you to surround me with your tenderness, warmth and care.
I certainly think about the future. I want us to be together.
I go to sleep and I wake up together with the thoughts about you.
They are not leaving my head.
More to that, I’d like to wake up in your arms every day.
I’d like to be sure that you really need me now and in the future.
I just want to look into your eyes.
I want to feel your warm breath.
I want to see your smile and know that this smile is for me.
I want to be waken up by you rather than some kind of alarm clock.
I want to be your sunshine.
I want you to warm your hands up in the back pockets of my jeans.
I want you to pay me with your kisses for the rental of my jeans pockets.
I want to believe you and never question anything you say.
I want to hear your voice. I want to get to your inner thoughts.
I want to be everything you need. I want you to know all these things.
Can’t wait for the moment I board the plane and start my final journey to you.
I am looking forward to hearing some good news from you.
Hope you can help me out and give me your support.