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.
Ojas! Now THOSE are cool pictures! More appropiate too!
anonymous from United Kingdom
i'm not sure how this will be received but here goes
i've been talking to this russian girl for a few months now, to be fair to her from her first letter she did tell me that she couldn't afford to travel to the uk even though she has an international passport.
anyway we got talking about meeting and she wants to meet in a neutral country, maybe helsinki, she will meet me there without me sending her any money, she will spend the week there with me then return home, BUT i will have to give her the money she paid for her to get to helsinki when we part. the price she told me was 440euros, i searched for cheaper flights and couldn't find any so that seems about right.
i cant find her on these scam sites and her letters have seemed honest and genuine, not the usual standard rubbish thats copied and pasted, she hasn't declared undying love or anything, she just wants to meet to see if theres that spark there.
she lives in norilsk, which isn't a very nice place apparently, rife with aids and violence when i googled it.
my problem is part of this seems like a scam but then part of it seems genuine
why would she spend a week with me in order to get a few hundred euros?
apart from a free holiday of course
i dont really want to put her pic up just in case she is genuine
what do you guys think?
It sounds to me like your girl could be real. It is not normal scammer behavior. It is normal to meet a Russian girl in a neutral country. I will ask Dirk to post a comment for you he knows more about this than me. Cheers.
OJAS from United States
UK 2009-08-11, 15:47:52 on the previous page,
There are a few things you could do, since you may be dealing with a real girl with sincere intentions, while possibly minimising your risks
1) With your credit card ONLY, buy her an e-ticket to Helsinki http://www.delphifa..=7#137395
2) Obtain visa forms from your embassy, and fill them out together when you meet
3) Get a bank draft payable to your embassy, for her visa fee
4) Take pictures together in front of your and her embassies, to use while sponsoring her
When she returns home, she can submit her visa application with fees and passport at your embassy and then it could be a long wait. http://www.delphifa..16#102452
anonymous from United Kingdom
very wise of you not to put her pic up here until you have proven her guilty.
her proposal seems genuine to me.
again, do not send her money, buy an e-ticket instead with your CC and make it only refundable to purchaser.
that way she could use it to fly to Helsinki but not exchange it for cash
Your girlfriend is real. The average monthly income in Russia is 250-300 Euro (about 1000 Rubles). Your girlfriend is prepared to take what may be her lifesavings to meet you. She doesn't ask you to give her the 440 Euro in advance. She's prepared to invest her savings and wants the money back if it doesn't work out. It's a fair deal.
There are a lot of real girls in the Russian Federation, who don't have a chance to fulfill their deepest wish: a familylife of their own. The demographic situation is simple: 1 boy on 2 girls is born in the RF. The social situation is the same: outside Moscow and Sankt-Petersburg there are no possibilities for careers and better income. Fact is, that the situation is getting better (especially Mr. Putin did a lot to increase social and financial circumstances). But, still...
One personal remark. There is a lot of suspicion, because of this scambusiness. I am glad to see that some of my fellow Dutchmen use the head that's on their shoulders. They are very happy with their Russian girlfriend/fiancee.
Give the real girls a chance. They deserve it as much as you do.
And... Please, do not send money to people you don't know (except me, of course. :-))
There's a question my wife asked and I thought I'd see if I could find an answr. Has anybody actually found real love on one of the dating sites of women from other countries? Like Russia, England and so forth?
***JOE*** from United States
@ David frtom USA
THE ANSWER IS YES DONALD TRUMP. LOL
But yes seriously I do know some people that realy did,But doing it properley you should go to russia and meet the parents , I know one man say the brides father Paid him $10,000.00.
I JUST WAS STOPPING IN TO SAY TO ALL YOU VERY GOOD AND KIND PEOPLE AND HAD TO ANSWER THAT,
so HI All ,and hope all is fine with you. and a hunting I will go.
I just joined up with TAGGED and you would not believe all the scams in there.So I will see you all soon with a report follow up on our little scammers.
2009-08-11 anonymous uk
this is me again
just wanted to say thanks for all the advice guys, i was doubting whether she was real or not but i think i'll arrange to meet her and take the chance after reading your replies
David from United States
Thanks people. I was just curious. Don't plan to look for a bride. I've had mine for 26 years and counting. Thanks for the threads Ojas.