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.
Here is another one for ya. Glad I found this site. Very humorous some of the things you do to toy with these scammers. Think this one is Nigerian.
From: 'Marry Mark' <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: I Can't Wait To Hear Your Sweet Voice
Where exactly in all that code when you use MS Outlook do you find the IP address? Thanks
anonymous from United States
email@example.com from Maribor, Slovenia
WHAT THE F... IS THIS MAIL ABOUT ???
How are you today together with your business and your entire family?I guess that everything is OK with you.
I know this mail will not come to you as a surprise since we have not had a previous correspondence,please bear with me.
I am more than happy to read your interesting mail from site and i hope that you are fine and healthy, I have noticed that you are the kind of man i am looking for since all this while, i believe that you are a trust worthy and caring person, that's what makes me to disclose my identity to you.
My name is Miss Linda Musa,23 years old from Darfur Region of Sudan and presently i am residing in the refugee camp here in Dakar Senegal as a result of the the killing of my family by the rebels last year, please don't be discouraged for hearing this.I believe deep down inside me that you will never break my heart or let me down in anyway.I am from the family of late Engr. Musa Camara. My late father Engr.Musa Camara, was the Chairman, Gruv-Melton Oil and Gas Company, a private extracting oil firm in Darfur. The brutal killing of my mother and my father, one kid sister and kid brother took place one early morning by the rebels as a result of the civil war that is going on until now in Sudan. I was in my second year in Applied Mathematics department of University of Darfur in Sudan before the death of my beloved Parents. I contacted you for a possible help. My step mother was a very wicked woman and she intend to kill me since my father and my real biological mother is died. Then she planned to take away all my late father's property and some other valuable things from me since the unexpected death of my beloved Parents. Meanwhile I wanted to find my way out of my country because I have seen what she is planning to do to me. I thereby plan to go to Europe, but she hide my international passport and other valuable traveling documents. Luckily she did not found where I kept my fathers File which contains important documents.
I managed to escape with the documents which covers my late father's deposited money$6.5 MD(Six Million five Hundred Thousand US Dollars). which he use my name as the next of kin. Meanwhile,I am still residing here as a refugee under the UNITED NATIONS COUNCIL FOR REFUGEES, i am saddled with the problem of securing a trust worthy foreign personality to help me transfer the money from the bank pending my arrival in your country. I will like to see you face to face soon.Furthermore, on your wish you can contact the bank for confirmation and you can communicate directly with them regarding this fund of my late father which was deposited in their custody. I am giving you this offer as mentioned with every confidence on your acceptance to assist me retrieve the money from the bank and transfer to your nominated account. I will like to further my studies as soon as i arrive to your country, please try to help me to achieve this goal as i have a desire to become a famous personality in the nearest future. I will be pleased if you can do this for me.
You can reach me through this number ( +221 776649442) It is a Reverend Fathers phone number, by name Reverend Father John Dada and email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you call, please ask of Linda Musa. When ever you call, try to tell him that you want to speak with Linda Musa, i am staying in the female hostel. I have already inform him, that some one will call me through his phone. He will send for me from the hostel to come and speak with you. So please do not fail to call me, because I need to hear your voice too.
So on your which to help me out i will like to have your data such as:
1.your Full name
4.your phone or fax number.
Immediately i receive this i will give you the contact of the bank where the money was deposited for you to contact them.
Bye and take a good care of yourself, have a nice day.
YEAH, WRIGHT....I 'LL GIVE YOU AN ASS KICK IF YOU LIKE, BITCH !!!
An anonymous gentleman wrote about this person the following:
'Hi There...Just thought I'd let you know that I have also had lettersd from this scammer calling herself Viktoria, and using email@example.com as an email address. Reckons she's from Kirov and has just finished legal studies there, but it turns out they do not run legal courses at Kirov. I became suspicious about this, and also the times at which various letters were sent. A young unemployed lady would not be out and about at two and three in the morning. Pity she isn't real. She sent me the same pictures as these and one or two more where she looked even more delicious...'
This scam artist's name (or AKA) can also be Viktoria Mamaeva. As her (his) home address she (he) also used: Kazan, Pervomayskaya street 45-24, 420000. She's also known to have used the names such as Svetlana Howralewa, Faniya, Marina Earina.
Here's yet another photo:
This 'Ekaterina Rozhentsova' (from Yoshkar-Ola?) uses translation software and sends her scam letters in German, French and other languages. Here's an abstract from her scam letter:
'...at my pupils soon very serious concert from which depends Their further destiny. We very long with them rehearse. In revival I went to the grandmother on a visit. I have got tired today very much on work. But the weariness has passed after I Has received your letter.'
Maybe these lines are familliar to you as well? :)))))))