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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:

  1. the foreign man visits her in her native area in Russia
  2. they get engaged during such a visit - take photos of the 2 of you together
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. if you get married, the girl gets a greencard and can work
  6. 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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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.



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2008-10-14, 04:14:04
anonymous from Senegal  
tina_2life@yahoo.com
my name is Tina, I am very good girl,i feel great joy in my heart: when i saw your profile despite that i have not seen you in person.my email (tina_2life@yahoo.com) so that I will send my picture to you. I will be waiting for your response,Yours ever Tina.
2008-10-14, 04:14:26
anonymous from Senegal  
tina_2life@yahoo.com
my name is Tina, I am very good girl,i feel great joy in my heart: when i saw your profile despite that i have not seen you in person.my email (tina_2life@yahoo.com) so that I will send my picture to you. I will be waiting for your response,Yours ever Tina.
2008-10-14, 04:15:14
anonymous from Senegal  
tina_2life@yahoo.com
my name is Tina, I am very good girl,i feel great joy in my heart: when i saw your profile despite that i have not seen you in person.my email (tina_2life@yahoo.com) so that I will send my picture to you. I will be waiting for your response,Yours ever Tina.
2008-10-14, 04:15:28
anonymous from Senegal  
tina_2life@yahoo.com
my name is Tina, I am very good girl,i feel great joy in my heart: when i saw your profile despite that i have not seen you in person.my email (tina_2life@yahoo.com) so that I will send my picture to you. I will be waiting for your response,Yours ever Tina.
2008-10-14, 04:20:36
anonymous from Senegal  
tina_2life@yahoo.com
my name is Tina, I am very good girl,i feel great joy in my heart: when i saw your profile despite that i have not seen you in person.my email (tina_2life@yahoo.com) so that I will send my picture to you. I will be waiting for your response,Yours ever Tina.
2008-10-14, 04:20:50
anonymous from Senegal  
tina_2life@yahoo.com
my name is Tina, I am very good girl,i feel great joy in my heart: when i saw your profile despite that i have not seen you in person.my email (tina_2life@yahoo.com) so that I will send my picture to you. I will be waiting for your response,Yours ever Tina.
2008-10-14, 04:21:11
anonymous from Senegal  
tina_2life@yahoo.com
my name is Tina, I am very good girl,i feel great joy in my heart: when i saw your profile despite that i have not seen you in person.my email (tina_2life@yahoo.com) so that I will send my picture to you. I will be waiting for your response,Yours ever Tina.
2008-10-14, 04:21:21
anonymous from Senegal  
tina_2life@yahoo.com
my name is Tina, I am very good girl,i feel great joy in my heart: when i saw your profile despite that i have not seen you in person.my email (tina_2life@yahoo.com) so that I will send my picture to you. I will be waiting for your response,Yours ever Tina.
2008-10-14, 04:21:38
anonymous from Senegal  
tina_2life@yahoo.com
my name is Tina, I am very good girl,i feel great joy in my heart: when i saw your profile despite that i have not seen you in person.my email (tina_2life@yahoo.com) so that I will send my picture to you. I will be waiting for your response,Yours ever Tina.
2008-10-14, 07:50:32
anonymous  
there is a girl from Dakar Senegal who have been contactin me for the past to weeks now. She claims to be an orphan in a refugee camp who can trust the people around her but can trust a coplit stranger with $2.3 milion dollars,, if she really has that kind of money she can even buy Barak Obama over just to get her out of there. so why does she need me to help her out of there? to me its a pure SCAM, looking at her pictures anybody can see this is not the same person


Keywords:
2008-10-14, 19:44:05
Dirk from Heerlen, Netherlands  
Signs of a Nigerian dating scammer

Suspect you may be dealing with a Nigerian scammer? Here is a wonderful list compiled by the Romancescams Yahoo group. Not all signs on this list are equally alerting and not all of them necessarily mean scam, but if he/she generally fits the pattern, it is most likely scam!

They might be a scammer if...

- Their specified age range seems to have no limit-e.g. 25-60

- They have weird usernames containing '4real' or '4luv'

- Their first names are also weird, like Martins, Williams, Kevins, Waynes, etc... (instead of Martin, William, Kevin, Wayne)

- The women names are often misspelled, like Jenifer instead of Jennifer, Ashly instead of Ashley, or Marry instead of Mary.

- Their last names are usually Cole, Moore, Smith or Williams

- They say they are 'XX by name' and 'XX by age'

- They say 'am' instead of 'I am', for example: 'am Williams by name...'

- Their photos are rotated 45 degrees

- They say they are from Keller, VA. Why? Because it has the same zip code as Nigeria: 23401

- Their occupation is often 'building contractor' or 'petroleum engineer' for men and 'model' for women

- Their introductory letter often contains the phraze: 'Remeber the distance or colour does not matter but love matters alot in life.' (typical for Senegal scammers)

- They immediately want to get off the website and onto Yahoo IM or MSN IM

- They are not usually around on the weekends to IM

- They IM at unusual hours for your time zone

- Their profile seems to disappear off the website immediately after conversation begins

- Their spelling is atrocious

- They are notorious for using 'i' instead of 'I'

- They consistently use webspeak or abbreviations: u r ur cos pls/plz ma sry brb div acc

- Their grammar is not consistent with how Americans speak, French speak etc...

- They often mix up their phrases:
i will like to heer from you soonest
I am kool
Do you have anyman you care to meet
Do you have any man you planning to meet
Looking for someone to love and care for in life
Am cheerfull in life
I will like to meet someone that is careing and loveing for real in life
i am too young for my age if you don’t know
Ok so how will you feel if i says i dont mind you
i will like you to be my best friend
You are so pretty for my likeness

- They appear uneducated with their speaking/writing skills

- They misunderstand our slang or comparisons such as night owl/early bird, poker face

- They immediately start using pet names with you: hon/hun baby/babe sweety/sweetie

- They over-use emoticons

- They are notorious for using BUZZ

- They do not like to answer personal questions about themselves and tend to ignore questions

- The details they give you on IM are often different that what was stated on their profiles, one of the more common ones they give different answers to is their birthdate, height/weight, and age

- If you catch them on an inconsistency they will claim a friend or relative must’ve been using their id to chat with you, they will always try to come up with a coverup and of course, you are always wrong or mistaken

- They often misspell the cities/towns they claim they are from and are unfamiliar with any of the local landmarks and attractions

- They do not know common questions that every US citizen would know the answer to

- If you ask them a question they don’t know they will usually be offline for a length of time so they can go look up the answer on the internet always claiming they had a phone call or had to go to the bathroom etc..

- There are other times they are gone from the conversation for a length of time and will sometimes come back at you with a different name, they’re usually conversing with more than one person at a time

- They typically ask you to get on your webcam yet they never seem to have a webcam of their own

- They like to send you poems or love letters, most of which can be traced back to lovingyou.com, sometimes they even forget to change the name in the poem or letter to match your name

- They claim it was destiny or fate and you are meant to be together

- They claim God brought you to him/her

- They immediately want your address so as to send you flowers, candy, and teddy bears, often purchased with stolen credit cards

- They claim to love you either immediately or within 24-48 hours

- They ask for your phone # but when they call you can barely understand a word

- They may give you a phone # but it’s typically a calling card or a call center, you can rarely get them on the phone

- They are so in love with you that they cannot live without you BUT they need you to send them some money so they can come to you

- They typically claim to be from the US (or your local region) but they are overseas, or going overseas mainly to Nigeria, sometimes the UK for business or family matters

- They often do not know the correct time difference between where you are and where they claim to be

- They often claim to have one parent that is of African descent

- A majority of them claim to have lost a spouse/child/parent in a horrific traffic accident or airplane accident or any of the above are sick or in the hospital

- They have no close family or friend or business associates to turn to, even the US embassy, instead they can only rely on a stranger they picked off the internet

- They tend to ask you to send them cell phones and laptops

- They would like to mail you packages or letters and have you forward them on for them, sometimes to Africa, sometimes to another US address

- To them love equals financial assistance: if you do not send them money or help them out with what they ask, you do not love them

- They will ask you to open a bank account for them in your name, often in Wells Fargo bank

- They will ask you for your bank account information

- They will send you a check or money order and ask you to cash it for them and wire the money to them via Western Union

- They frequently send fraudulent checks via Qchex.com

- They often claim they are in the hospital and the doctor will not perform the necessary operation unless you send the money

- Even when they are in the hospital they can IM with you because the doctor has a laptop and is so very generous to let them use it

- They claim they’ve been mugged and have no money and are being held hostage in the hotel and are not being allowed to leave until the bill is paid, often they will let you talk to the 'hotel manager' who will verify the story

- They also claim they’ve somehow 'lost' the company money and cannot pay his employees: there is always some desperate story as to why you have to send money

- If you deny them or question them they become verbally abusive and will resort to threats

- Above all, if you call them a scammer they are highly offended and some will start throwing words at you in their native language.

2008-10-15, 16:01:57
OJAS from United States  
Rhonda, this sounds like a typical scam. A Russian girl dating without a cell phone? LOL ! ! IMPOSSIBLE! She is in a medical profession cannot afford a phone? ... Hmmm ... She will encounter an ''unexpected financial emergency'' ... take it from me ...

I hope he stays away from Western Union, a good start is at the US Embassy http://moscow.usemb..scams.html
2008-10-18, 06:25:42
anonymous from United States  
Got another one using this site to find addresses She seems to think this is a dating site.

Hi, I am vera!
please how are you! hope you are fine and in perfect condition of health.I went through your profile at http.www.delphifaq.com and i read it and became intersest in you,please if you don't mind i will like you to write me on this ID (vera404@yahoo.com)hope to hear from you soon,and I will be waiting for your mail because i have something VERY important to tell you.
Lots of love
Vera !
2008-10-18, 13:45:38
anonymous from United States  
2008-10-18, 15:45:36   (updated: 2008-10-18, 15:55:55)
anonymous  
24): yes but am now schooling in ghana
coolgal244: am studying bussines accounting
coolgal244: l can fly to your place this week if only you will pay for my plane ticke
coolgal244: wales
coolgal244: l can fly to your place this week and be with you if you like yes dear but l can fly to your place if only you will help me buy the plane ticket
and what this costs
coolgal244: $1500 ..l will glad if you help me with some and then l can fly and see you this week

coolgal244: yes if only you want me to because am sick and tired of being lonely here


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Thanks to Eddie for writing it up.

Please also read Miss Marple's article about recognizing male dating scammers.

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