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.
Sorry to be harsh! But anyone who thinks you can send money to someone over the internet in hopes of them being a dream girl and not ripping you off is just not living in reality. Although we like to believe we can trust people it isn't really the truth all the time is it?
You know what they say... 'If it sounds to good to be true it probably is!' I sugest you report her profile as a scam or spammer to whatever dating site or other entity that you made contact with them....
anonymous from Dublin, Ireland
How is everything over there in your country and the day, i believe you are having a nice moment and that the atmosphere over there in your country is very nice today? Mine is a little bit warm over here in Dakar Senegal.
My name is Rose i am (22yrs) but age doesn't matter in a real relationship, so i am confortable with your age, I am from Sudan in Africa, 5.6ft tall, chocolate in complexion, very attractive, single, (never married ) and presently i am residing here in Dakar as a result of the civil war that was fought in my country some years ago. My hobbies are Tennis, Swimming, reading and homemaking
My late father Dr David Johnson was the managing director of JD.INDUSTRIES (Ltd) in Khartoum (the capital city of Sudan, my country) before the rebels attacked our house one early morning and killed my mother and my father in cold blood.
It was only me that is alive now and I managed to make my way to a near by country SENEGAL where i am leaving now as a refugee under a Revrend father's care and i am using his computer to send these message to you.
I would like to know more about you.Your likes and dislikes, your hobbies and what you are doing presently. I will tell you more about myself in my next mail. Attached here is my picture.
Hoping to hear from you soonest
I MISS U.jpg (62K, 480 x 640)
anonymous from United States
This is the letter I got from a russian chick!
Is this email address a scam irina28 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
She claims her name is Irina
How are you? I am fine! Today we have good weather. I on work right now.
I usually to leave work at 18:00.
I rose today at 6.30. My day today began well enough. I as usually
prepared for a breakfast. Last night I
was engaged in the clothes. I erased last night. I have the good washing
machine. It is the automatic
washing machine. She very much helps me. I in general very much like to
be at home and to be engaged in
domestic affairs. I like to cook! I the good cook! I am confident, that
you like Pizza! I like to eat houses
and I do not like to go in restaurants of a fast feed. I to care of mine
health. I try to eat only natural
products. I to not drink alcohol it is a lot of. I do not smoke also.
The woman should possess natural beauty!
I to care of my body. I go in for sports also. I to be engaged Fitnes! I
visit Fitnes-Club. I like to visit
pool also. Well, I want to tell to you, that your life is interesting
to me very much. Please, speak me as
much as possible. OK? All of us people and I understand you as the
person, but we from various cultures and I
probably do not know some things. I shall be glad to hear from you about
it! Your letters help me to represent
your life better. Ayres, I would like to ask you about your hobbies.
Than you especially like to be engaged?
You like to observe TV? You like to go to walk on shops? YOU play on
musical instruments? I know, that anyhow
you should have hobby! You love music? I like to listen to various types
of music! It probably depends on my mood.
I love classical music! I have many disks of a house! Still I like to go
at cinema. As soon as new film we with
girlfriends buy tickets leaves and we go at cinema! Theatre? I already
for a long time was not at theatre and I
think, that this art! I went in theatre probably 2 years ago.
Unfortunately our daily life we have a lot of work
and various has put. Therefore not always it is possible to find enough
time to go and take an entertainment.
You agree with me? We people already adult and to us are peculiar many
other cares. I hope, that my letters of you
do not tire also to you interestingly about what I to you I write. I
only want to show you my life and to tell who
I such. I can sometimes be very curious and consequently be not
surprised! OK? Sometimes I present myself your voice.
My accent differs from yours and if we shall speak by with you to phone
in the future we shall probably notice it.
I think, that I would like to speak by with you to phone. I believe,
that is important to speak by phone and to hear
a voice. I have phone, but anyhow I shall not allow yet to you number of
my phone. I have not got used to give a lot
of the personal information on me when I to get acquainted with the man.
I think, that we should speak on the Internet
before I shall allow to you number of my phone. I in general have got
used to that the man the first offers me any things.
I think, that men should be the initiator. Usually men suggest to meet
to the woman, men invite in restaurant, at cinema.
Men the first offer heart. I the independent woman. I want to feel like
the woman. Some men do not appreciate the woman.
Ayres, you should concern to me first of all as to the woman.
Unfortunately we while it is far also we have no
opportunity to meet. Though I very much would want to see you in the
person! Anyhow our acquaintance very unusual and
is interesting to me! Fairly to tell, here in Russia some men offer me
the friendship. I young and rather attractive.
But I to you have already told, that I want serious relations and I want
to create my family in the USA. You very much
involve me also to me interestingly to speak with you! I shall hope,
that you also want to speak with me and it is
interesting to you. You now my good friend! wow! I have the friend in
other country! The Internet a wonderful thing!
Please, only concern to me seriously. OK? Probably you the man of my
dream? I with you shall be always frank. I promise
you it. Well, I should come back. I shall probably close this letter.
Write to me soon!!! Send your pictures! I shall
wait your letter! Sincerely, Irina.'
Hi my new friend
Im glad to see that you have decided to reply,I see it is very short letter.
It is all right because you are astonished to get my letter.
I want you to know that I have only good intentions and I have not any secrets.
The thing is that I will work in your country for three months or so and
I would like to meet a nice man to fall in love or just be closest friends.
I don't want to live in Russia because I have not any chances here,
it is hardly possible to explain from first time but I want you to know my plans.
I will work in any shop, bar or restaurant the agency that i am going through will suggest me some locations.
It will be my choice in the end as to what option to go for.
So I will have a simple work till I improve my English. And I can choose any
town of your area,agency will only help me to get a visa and all travel documents + some suggested placed to work in.
My best friend last year met the man from the USA when she worked there for three months, too.
She had two jobs. From morning till 4 pm she worked in amusement park and after it she worked as a waitress in some bar till midnight.
She was very tired of course but made very good money there.
It is special programm for young people who wants to work abroad and I think it is the right way for me ,
I am lost here,and I think that I look pretty enough to find a better place .I want to repeat the same way,it is
only my chance to meet a nice man.I want to work in USA or in Europe or any
nice country. I am full of plans and different dreams and I want to share my
life with good man because I'm also full of love and tenderness,I know that
I am not so beautiful like Hollywood Princess but I do hope to meet my Prince and
I am sure he will be not be disappoined to meet me in the real life! This is why I am going to go through the same way.
Well,I will close this letter and I do hope to get your reply.
I will leave russia in two weeks or so (I can't tell you everything exactly
right now) and I would like tobe sure that I have the man who waits for me there. I will work all day and I want to find a man to spend all free time
together to get to know each other better.if you have any interest to meet me I will be more than happy to meet you too.
I will tell you all details about me and my life if you like my pictures and
want to meet me! please send picture of you too!!!
I write to you with my new mailbox email@example.com, please write
letters now only on this mailbox.
I will wait your next letter.
Kiss you , Elizaveta (this is my name)!
>> hello))) how are you?) do you have a minute?)))I'm talkative and pretty
>> girl)))i am a model)))lets chat!))) I have a lot of time for meetings and if
>> you have any ideas how to spend it with me... just email me back at
>> RONDA@tapthelop.com and i will reply back with some nice photos with me
>> ...and maybe, you will want to write me again))) RONDA@tapthelop.com