Is this Russian girl scamming me? How to recognize scammers
7162 comments. Current rating: (816 votes). Leave comments and/ or rate it.
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.
Hey everyone! I've been toying with this scammer for a week now.
She is currently going by Elena Kouznetsova. The pictures are pretty standard, but I reconize them.
I was skeptical at first e-mail but with that name it made things hard to track down. Apparently there is a Russian Model by this name. I did find out everything when I ran a line of the latest e-mail.
I would like to say I can't believe people are this low--but these days it doesn't suprise me.
Thanks for having this thread for the poor souls that try to be positive enough to believe in random chance.
Though I knew it was too good to be true, a part of me wanted to believe otherwise.
Cheers everyone -- again, great thread!
anonymous from Poland
anonymous from United States
damn i cant believe i got scammed by elena also. Accept I caught this before she even asked for money. I think I will play along
Good day my darling sweet heart,
First let me say that am very sorry for my late reply is because of my sickness but i thank God today that am still alive to see his goodness,
How are you today i hope everything is going well and fine with you and your family over there in your country i thank God for the life he give to us today, i want you to know that i pray and fasting before i got your contact and i really believe with God that you will not disappoint me please understand me honey,
I am more than happy in your reply to my mail and, how is your day, mine is a little bit Cold over here in Dakar Senegal, my condition here is terrible Its just like one Staying in the prison and i hope by Gods grace i will come out here soon, i don't Have any relatives now whom i can go to all our relatives run away in the middle of The war the only person i have now is Rev Dominic John who is the pastor of the (HOPE OF GLORY CHURCH) here in the camp he has been very nice to me since i came here but i am not living with him rather i am leaving in the women's hostel Because here the have two hostels one for men the other for women,
The Pastors Tel number is (+22176-472-5169) if you call and tell him that you want to speak with me he will send for me in the hostel.honey my condition here is very bad because i don't have any right or privilege to any thing be it money or whatever because it is against the law of this country,
I want to go back to my studies because i only attended my first year before the tragic incident that lead to me being in this situation now took place, Please listen to this, i have my late father's statement of account and death certificate here with me which i will send to you later, because when he was alive he deposited some amount of money in a leading bank in which he used my name as the next of kin, the amount in question is 6.5$ Million (six Million five Hundred Thousand Dollars) So i will like you to help me transfer this money to your account and from it you can send some money for me to get my travelling documents and air ticket to come over to meet you, I kept this secret to people here the only person that knows about it is the Reverend because he is like a father to me,
So in the light of above i will like you to keep it to yourself and don't tell it to anyone because am afraid of loosing my life and the money if people gets to know about it, Remember i am giving you all this information due to the trust i deposed on you, I like honest and understanding people, truthful and a man of vision,
truth and hard working, My favourite language is English but our language is french but i speak English very fluently,
Mean while i will like you to call me like i said i have alto to tell you take good care of your self and your family for me have a nice day and think about me, am waiting to hear from you i really need you in my life honey bye,
Yours in love forever linda
this is a great site-----i am having correspondece with a russian beauty(female) that wants to come and meet me as soon as possible---she wrote a beautiful poem
anonymous from United States
Hello again! This is Elena! Remember me? I hope you received my message I sent you today. I will send you some more picture of me. If you will like it and want to write me further I will be glad! I will check my mailbox soon and will write you back! I will wait for your e-mail with impatience. Hope to hear from you soon! From Elena.
P.S. Here is my e-mail again: <email@example.com>, just in case. Also if you will send me a picture of you it will be great!!!
Hello! happy see your answer my inbox
I write you my emails from Internet cafe, I don't have my own computer.
I'm sending few photos for you today! I hope you are not tired to look at my photos?
This time I will write you more about myself. I think you should know more about my ife
and my hobbies so you will know if we have any common interests.
I hope soon I will be able to come to your area by my birthday and we
will meet each other! I'm not sure why I picked you but I feel something special about you!
We live with our parents and my young sister in 2 room apartment.
I'm happy my parents will be not alone when I leave the for another country.
My father is 55 years old now, my mom is 49. You see my mom is much younger then my father and they are
very happy together. My mother is a teacher of mathematics in the school.
The name of my small city is Karech, it's near Ulan-Ude city(Republic Buryatiya).
Karech is quite small city and Yakutsk is a large city, the main city in our district.
Ulan-Ude is located on 65 degree of northern breadth. In a Ulan-Ude 63 frosts and 39 heats were marked.
Amplitude of fluctuations of the winter and years temperatures, exceeding 100,
any region of the world Average temperature in January - does not test 42,7 degrees,
in July + 18,7 degrees. For a year drops out up to 202 mm of deposits,
and as very much the greater river 'Selenga' here proceeds
As the biggest lake in the world 'Baykal' is not far from me . Distance up to Moscow - 8468 km
I graduated from Ulan-Ude Sports University two years ago, contemporary dance faculty. Yes we
have such faculty in Sport University! So I'm a professional dancer. I don't want to have a
dancer's career because I will have not much time for my private life and for relationship with a man. I
work as a dance teacher, I teach children from 10 to 15 years how to dance! Also I have a certificate of
fitness instructor, this is my another hobby. So it would be perfect if later I will find a work as
instructor or teacher of dances!!! I think it's a very good job for a woman, I'm always in a good shape
and I keep myself not that busy!
Do you know how to dance? If not I can teach you!
I can dance many different styles.
When I come to your city I will work as a waitress in a restaurant. I would like to work as a dance
teacher but I think you understand it's not possible to arrange such work by Internet because they want
to see how well I dance.
Anyway I will try to find such work when I come over there. Or maybe not a dancer but aerobics
instructor, I think it's also very good job.
Of course I will miss everybody but I want to have my own happiness!
In winter I like skiing, although we have cold winters... our summers are warm usually.
I color my hair to blond. The natural color of my hair is fair. I hope that's not a problem for you or
you like natural color of hair?
I like classic music, jazz, rock, lounge. I like music at all!
I want to try how to ride a motorcycle someday! I've never tried it!
I very much love flowers, I very much like roses and violets
I can play piano also, she teached me how to play piano.
I finished music school and I still play piano about once a week.
I suppose in few days I will leave for St-Petersrug and start my trip!
There is no any messenger in this Cafe so we can only keep emailing each other. I hope you are not
getting bored to read my emails?
My full name - Elena Kouznetsova. My birthday is April,05. I'm 25 years old, not that young I think?
I'm 173 cm tall (5.6.) and 51 kg weight (about 120 pounds, I'm not sure how much it is in pound but I'm
I don't know exactly my bust-waist-hips measurements, I don't have a reason to measure it
because I think it's OK and my body is proportionate )) I take care of my body, I do aerobics three
times a week and two times a week I go to the swimming pool twice a week.
My address here is Russia, Karech, zip code : 670022, Kilova 77 street, flat 309.
So now you have a representation of who I am....
I just can tell you that I enjoy life and I try to live to the fullest, I like to try new things. I'm
not that smart.. I was not that good in mathematics, physics, biology and so on! But I'm very tender,
caring, artistic, faithful, decent person.
Sometimes I can be not well organized, I think everybody had it's own minuses and pluses.
I don't look any special qualities in a man. I just hope he will be faithful to me and ready to create
a happy family with me and I will do everything to make him happy. I'm looking for a soulmate!
OK... it's time to finish my email. I'm sending a kiss by the wind to you and if I sent it to the right
destination you should receive it by evening )))) I hope you will catch my kiss somehow )))
Do you have an International Airport in your city? Please write me it's name an code. Or write me the
name of the nearest Airport to you.
Now I'm not at home often and of you call me my father will pick up
the phone and he can't speak any English and he will be shocked to hear the English speech. I still
didn't tell him about you but I'm going to tell him this week, I will write you about his thoughts on
bye! your Elena
just want to add few things... I think last time I wrote you not all
my thoughts... My mind is always in a mess when I write you because
it's hard to write everything to somebody who is so far away. I don't
remember if I wrote last time I've never been married, don't have
kids but I love them and they love me! I wrote you I teach children
how to dance and I know how to understand their wishes and worries.
I don't smoke, drink occasionally.
And I want to tell you that I always wanted to find an older man.
Why? I have two answers..
Firstly, I think older men are much more serious and they can take
care of me, they are more experienced in life and can teach me many
things. 'The older the violin, the sweeter the music' I believe in it...
I think I'm not that young already but I don't have much experience in life
and I want to have someone who has more experience in life then me.
Secondly... maybe I'm not right about it... but I want to be honest
I've always had such worry... if I marry a man nearly my age...
and after some years I will become not that young and beautiful...
I think it's more hard for a woman to be attractive then for a man...
and he will find a younger mistress and I will become very miserable.
I don't want my man to be unfaithful. I know I can be faithful to
my man and I will never cheat on him.
But this is just my worries. This is not my goal. Please tell me if
you think you will love your woman at any age and not find a younger
one? Can you be faithful?
And sorry my profile was not accurate. Honestly I thought it will be
just like a joke to post my profile, I just wanted to try if my
English is well enough to talk to someone from another country and I
wanted to know if I can communicate with foreign people. But now it's
not just I want to try my skills... I became attracted to you and I
really want to meet you. If you will not like me or something else we
can be just friends.
I hope I will get my work visa soon in St-Petersburg and all documents and
come to you! I don't have any area limits with this visa so I can work
where I want.
Also I'm sending more my pic
I'm just trying to be honest with you and write you all my thoughts on
different issues. Please be always honest with me also....
I will write you later, I will look if I have more nice photos to send
Have a good day! Elena
Hello my dear , how are you ? today
It's good to write you again!
I think I'm a lucky girl to meet such good mas as you in Internet!
I hope I will be lucky enough to meet you in the real life!!!!!!!!
Yesterday I told my parents about you. They said now they worry about me not that much as
before because they know you are a kind man and can help me if I need your help.
You can show me your city and tell me about the life over there!
I think I didn't write you I like to cook. I will cook Russian cuisine for you! Pelmeni,
vareniki, blini, borsch, okroshka! You will like it!
Besides Russian cuisine I like Italian and Mexican. I love spaghetti and pizzza!!!!! mmmmmmm !
I can't like without it! I like Mexican food because it's very spicy, although
I don't cook Mexican dishes too often. I've been told my cooking is very tasty!
I like to cook cakes. My favorite is cheese-cake with raspberry! You know...
when I talk about food I'm getting hungry )))
I eat everything and I'm not on any diets but usually I don't eat after 7 pm. This helps me not to be fat!
I can cook many tasty things for you when we meet! You know.. almost all Russian men are like bears!
They are so rude, they can't be nice and polite, they don't want to have a family.
I think you are not like them. I like to go to the cinema! I really like to watch a
good movie with my friends.
Yesterday I've seen a great historical movie!!! It is called 'The Mongol'.
I really liked it so much! It was produced Coproduction of film: Russia-Kazahstan-Germany
and there you can see some good actors! One of directors of this
movie is a well known Russian director Sergey Bodrov Senior.
If you didn't see this movie find it and watch! I advice it to you!
Actually my favorite actor is Russell Crowe and I like all movies with him.
I've watched '3:10 to Yuma' and very good film 'Gladiator' Have you seen it?
Soon I want to go to the premier of new movie - The Heartbreak Kid.
This film the leaging role is played by the actor: Ben Stiller
Could you recommend me any American movie so I can watch it?
What is your favorite movie and actor?
Some time age I watched 'Saving Private Ryan' (directed by Steven Spielberg).
I've read this film and I like it so much! Breathtaking! Anyway
I think the book is better then the movie.
Soooooooooooooooo......... what else could I say?
I have a driver's licence but I don't have a car.
My father has a Russian car and he gives me his car sometimes.
I like not only the cinema!
I like theatre and opera too, I like ballet. I like ballet'Swan Lake'
I know about ballet not much, Kind of theatrics, basic which expressive means are
indissolubly connected among themselves Music and dance
Unfortunately there is only one small theatre in my city and there is nothing interesting.
If I want to go to ballet, for example,
I should go to Yakutsk, there sometimes can come famous Russian actors and dancers but
I can't go there often because it's quite expensive.
And now I have some good news for you! After sending this email I will go home,
pack my bags and today later I will go to Ulan-Ude! From there
I will fly to St-Petersburg! I was on a plane only two times in my life and I'm afraid to fly!
I hope my plane will not fall down! I'm really afraid!
So it is several hours from Yakutsk to St-Petersburg and I will come to St-Petersburg late night.
I don't think I will live in hotel there, it's very expensive.
You know, by statistics St-Petersburg is the more expensive city in the world after Moscow or Tokyo.
I will rent a room in apartment, it will be cheap. Of course it will be very modest but it's OK for me!
When I come to St-Petersburg and settle down I will write you an email.
I hope tomorrow I will be able to write me. Please don't worry about me if you don't hear from me tomorrow,
that will mean I was not able to find a place to stay and I will write you tomorrow.
Anyway, I hope I will write you tomorrow!!!
In St-Petersburg I will spend a week or maybe even more, I should make all final arrangements
with my documents and after it I will come to you!
I've never been to St-Petersburg before and I'm so nervous now... I've never went somewhere alone and now
I should go alone to such big city!
You know... I had such great desire to start my trip already.. and now
I feel myself like a newborn kitten who has even didn't open it's eyes...
I just want to hug my mommy and don't want to go anywhere...
but I know that's my dream to start a new life and I will try to turn in to reality!
Soon you will hear some news from me from St-Petersburg!!!!!!!!
Love and kisses!
I hope I'm the one for you! So sorry of long my letter
From both nervous and excited, your Elena
Hi,my sweetheart Jerrel,how are you ? today
I've seen so many nice places in St-Petersbug while going by bus!
When I got off the plane in the St-Petersbug Airport policeman asked
me about passport and he looked at me like I am an enemy ))) I think all people here
(and everywhere) are a little crazy because of terrorism.
Everything here is very expensive, not like in my city...
and everywhere are big crowds of people! Everywhere is so many people!
I'm still uncomfortable about it but I feel soon it will be OK.
I've been to few shops here today and I see goods are much more expensive here then in my native city.
I am much tired from flight from Ulan-Ude up to ST-Peterburg
I'm so excited to write you again!!!!!!!!!! I'm in St-Petersbug!
You can't imagine how happy I am that I already started my trip to you!
I still cannot believe I've done it! WoW! As I wrote you
I was scared to fly on the plane but everything was OK and I'm still alive ))))
St-Petersbug is a really big city! I've been told the population of St-Petersbug
is about 10 million of people! From the Airport I went by bus...
it was so long way... about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
I found a place to stay, I rent a room from an old woman.
She is about 62 years old. She said her husband died 2 years ago and she has two grown up children
but they are already married and don't come to visit her very often so she is alone and she has
not much money so she give in rent rooms in her apartment.
She is very nice woman )) She said I have to be very careful.
You know... she said many girls from small cities come to big cities... or even abroad...
they are looking for a better future and fortune but because they are from small cities
they didn't imagine their way to find the happiness can be not as easy as they thought...
and some of them can end up as prostitutes or something like that. She said I should be careful when
I meet you!! But I don't worry about you! I feel with all my heart you are really nice man!
And I think I'm enough educated not to end up as a prostitute and I will find my happiness!
Sorry I wrote you about my worries.. I have nobody to write about it.
My parents are worried enough about me and I don't want to make them worry more.
I think that's really good I've met you! I can write you about everything.
I miss my parents... but I'm getting better with every hour ))
Now I'm very hungry and I will go and eat something.
I wish to light this a small poem to you while I flied
I had time it to compose :
my poem for you!
My voice for you both tender and languid
Disturbs later silence of night dark.
Near bed sad the candle burns mine;
My verses merge murmuring, flow, rivers love,
Flow are full you.
In darkness your eyes shine before with me,
To me smile, and sounds are heard by me:
My friend, my gentle friend. I Like .. Yours Yours!
In pinetions long hopeless,
In alarms of noisy vanity,
The voice gentle sounded to me long
Also lovely fig dreamed.
And heart beat in ecstasy,
And for it have revived again
And a deity, and inspiration,
Both life, and happiness, and love
Please confirm the name of airport and be sure you wrote it right.
Please confirm me your full name and telephone number.
Please don't be mad! I just want to be sure I have your contacts!
This way I will feel more confident.
I am afraid to make any mistake... I hope everything will be fine.
I've been told I may have all further information about my trip after tomorrow.
As soon as I learn it I will write you an email!!!
I don't have enough time now to write more things.
Sinsecerely your, Elena
anonymous from Germany
Habe diese E-mailadresse firstname.lastname@example.org leider über eine seriöse privat geführte Seite erhalten, die erst vor kurzen 'geknackt' wurde. Geantwortet habe ich auch erst nach Rückfrage über die Echtheit. Zwischenzeitlich wurde das Profil nunmehr gelöscht. Glücklicherweise habe ich insgesamt nur drei E-mails getauscht, Beim der letzten war leider auch auch ein Bild meinerseits beigefügt.
Die letzte Mail mit typischerweise keiner tatsächlichen Information über sie und keinerlei Antworten auf meine Fragen bekam ich vor zwei Tagen ( 08.04.2009). Sie hatte folgenden Inhalt:
I got this E-mailadress email@example.com from a serious side, running by private, being cracked some weeks before. My first answer to her/him or what it will be just followed after questioning the provider if it is a real profil. Meanwhile this profile has been closed there.
Fortunately I just change three E-mails, but by the last one I send a picture of me too.
The last one with typical no information about herself and no answers to my questions was two days ago (2009.04.08). That´s the mail.
And again I am happy to write to you the letter, to me what you have written
to me is very pleasant, that for me it is clear, what you are interested by our
acquaintance, and I would not like to lose our correspondence, I would like to learn more
about each other, it is pleasant to me to receive from you letters, certainly it only the
beginning of our acquaintance, but I can tell, what you have interested me, you the
pleasant person, beautiful and kind and why you are lonely? On the ground millions people
are lonely also everyone wish to find that person with whom could be happy.
XXXX, As it would be pleasant to me to know more about your family. As I already wrote
to you, at me not families, but I always dreamed, that I had parents that there were
brothers and sisters, in fact as it is fine, when there are related people and you do not
feel lonely, and in what relations with the parents and relatives, for me it is
interesting for learning I hope, that you will not be against my some questions and
certainly to me most of all hunting to know about you, I am interested by our acquaintance
and there can be when be we can will meet and to learn each other more close. I would like
to receive from you more detailed letters, I wish to know about all of you, I wish to
understand, whether that we approach each other.
XXXX, I wish to tell to you, that during Easter I work, as a lot of sick and the day off
at me will be only on Sunday and most likely this day I will be at home and I will have a
rest, as on Monday it is necessary to go for work, unfortunately I have not enough time
for rest and it is necessary to work much, I think, that you understand me.
Unfortunately I should finish my letter to you, in fact in one letter not probably to tell
about everything, I hope, that it agree with me? I think, that for the certain term we
shall find answers in each other on our questions and there can be that so long searched.
On this I shall finish the letter and with impatience I shall expect your answer. With the
best regards of good day, Maria