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 girl tried to scam me, but i understood this already in her first letter. But just for fun, i played along, and let her think i was interested. When she finaly asked me to help with a unexpected moneyproblem (1500 Euro), i sendt her a long mail, telling her what she realy was worth. I never got a answear on this mail, so i guess she broke up with me :-)
She first contacted me trough a dating agent called Charles Gonzales
She used the name: Tatyana Vikulina.
She used e-mail adress: firstname.lastname@example.org
anche a me è successo la stessa cosa come tanti altri, dopo un mese di fitta corrispondenza è arrivato il momento in cui la bellissima Anna vuole venire in italia e ha chiesto che le inviassi dei soldi, poi ho trovato questo sito e le sue lettere sono già state scritte uguali uguali da altre donne...... This image was also posted here: Dating scammer Olya
Guys, that Ekaterina Porhalo scammed me (I am so ashamed to tell) from about 7000 USD!!! But she told me that her name is Irina Ershova and live in Lugansk, Ukraine. I think is the same scammer by the pictures. I've talked to her on the phone many times (+380632862901). She sent me a fake Passport and said that when she tried to come to me (in Moscow's airport) somebody stole her bag with all the papers and she needs another money to make a new Passport. After I sent her the money (stupid me) she said that she has to bribe some official to make her Passport in just two days otherwise we should wait another month. I've sent her another money (again, stupid me) and this time she told me that this official ran away with her money (along with other people's money who were waiting for him). After that she told me that her aunt is veri sick and needs an expensive operation but this time I stopped sending money to her and she said that she don't want to correspond no longer with me because she don't want next to her a man who doesn't care about her family!!!! The point is that she is a very smart scammer and any of you should be very carreful on the future!
[hidden] from United States
Anonymous from Romania,
Please file a complaint with Ukrainian police.
You can contact me for information on how to file a complaint.
My name is Elena, I am from web site called www.Russian-Detective.com, my email is
Elena at russian-detective.com.
I will try to help.
anonymous from United Kingdom
Hi. I am a serious girl looking for serious relationship, if you would be interested, I would love to learn about you. For me the age difference is not important, the most important is the personality inside. Let’s get to know each other
I heard from this girl, too. Guys, thanks for posting this stuff, because the whole thing is so surreal. This is an excerpt from an email I got; 'This is my address : Ukraine,Kiev,02082,Kirpichnaya vul 49,11,
my full name is Liudmila Botvinnikova,provide me with your information
just in case also. My birthday is on Monday(January,19),i am taking a day
off from clinic and my family arrives tomorrow
from Odessa,parents and brother'. Oh,,,and she likes red roses, lol.
Did you guys get this stuff, too? I cannot beleive that she is using the same address to fool ppl. I actually got a phone call from her ( stupid me, gave my cell phone number)...she left a VM saying she is an endodontist and will take vacation pretty soon. thanx you guys for helping me out here...
I met this girl on singlesnet.com she says she is from butler,pa (outside pittsburgh) and she is going to school in nigeria and she wants me to send money for food to this sunday dekwa (school master) and her name is sera slaughter
anonymous from Chile
I would like to know if the following is a fraude (spam) :
INTERNATIONAL TRANSFER DEPARTMENT,
BANK OF AFRICA.
PLOT 101-109 AJOSE ADEOGUN
ATTN: GERD FEITSL
REFERENCE: INTERNATIONAL BANK TO BANK TRANSFER
Your email was recieved. Happy new year. The entire courier have been having faults over delivery of related monies like cheque's, bank drafts,etc to various customers all over the world. The World bank has resolved and given this bank the power to pay all all unclaimed parcel customers.
You have been listed as one of the persons to be paid and the Barclays Bank which is the international bank where your cheque was drawn from has issued this bank with your cheque activation number which has to be activated for direct transfer. Note that all monies that were spent on the courier will be refunded to you alongside your compensation fund.
We have details.
In answer to your quetions, Your fund can be transfered to your account in bits. We can transfer your fund four times (125,000 GBP x 4= 500,000 GBP)
You are advised to provide this bank with a fund release order document from your courier agent. This document has to be procured from the central Bank of Nigeria and it should not cost more than 500 GBP. Once this document is procured and submitted to this bank by your courier agent, it will take this bank only 24 hours to activate your fund from the barclay bank for the release of your whole fund of 500,000 GBP to your bank account without any further delay.
We are here to serve you better than expected in the banking world.
Your's in the best services ever,
Dr. Francis Okemute
General Executive Transfer Director '
email@example.com from South Africa
I would like to know if this girl is a scam. I suspected that something is going on with my husband and then I found these letters from this girl called Liliya. I want to know if she is scamming him. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. We stay in South Africa and I want to know what is the chances of her getting a visa to here.
I ask about time of performance and they said that there is many
people who wants to make documents and leave the country but if I'll
make the application now, and pay for it now, they will make all
documents not more than 2 weeks, and if I'll not make the application,
documents will be prepared not earlier than two or three months
because there are many people who wants to do it. So that I have put
in the statement at once. I was told that I can go to you when I issue
all documents. My love Martin for trip to you and registrations of the
visa and the passport for travel abroad I need in the following
1 - The passport for travel abroad.
2 - Medical test.
3 - Consular gathering is paid in addition.
4 -Two photos (5x5).
5 - The insurance.
6 - The information from a place the works.
7 - Documents about the real estate. (a maximum of docks).
8 - The certificate of birth.
9. Consultation before submission of documents in embassy and before
10 - After submission of documents by us - interview.
Yes, so much I need to prepare documents for my trip for you. I have
been simply surprised in it, but I for our meeting, I will try to
prepare as soon as possible. Tomorrow I will ask for leave from work
that I have had time to make for one day to prepare documents and
after tomorrow to go in tourist firm, to give the documents for a
trip. I hope that you have received this info and you know now that is
necessary for a trip. I will wait from you for the answer.