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.
I see that you want to say.
The visitor(for the 1st time ) had put an e-mail address ,pix on Delphi.
It is very helpful to us.It is a good contribution to us.
But if he comes again,,,,,at that time we hope he will put more infos on here.
It is my opinion.
Only picture,addy,off course ,it is helpful to us.
I appreciate the person who has put (only)an addy,pix on here.
by the way,DOC,may I ask you?
1) '' a '' email address or
2) '' an '' email address
I agree with you, search engines like google need only a few minimal and critical info for hits. I also like to encourage newbies to participate in research, avoid risks os posting a possibly innocent girl.
@Wanwan, generally, before the next word starting with a vowel, a, e, i, o, u, it is an, like an email. But there are exceptions like ''an historic'', ''a user'' to make English among the most difficult languages to learn!
DOC from United States
90% of the people in America (including me) do not speak proper English.
Dirk from Heerlen, Netherlands
In general I agree. We (and especially the victims) need every bit of info we/they can find. 'Bitchhunter' (inappropriate, because most scammers are men) however, gave a lot of info (name of the bank, bankaccount, etc.). That info was enough to reveal the scam.
They're perfect. In fact, they're someone you could see yourself spending the rest of your life with. A decent person with a good job or business in search of a good, honest partner to settle down with.
You or someone you know may be dating this person online right now. However, be warned. Things aren't what they appear to be. In reality you're talking to a criminal sitting in a cybercafe with a well rehearsed script he's used many times before. He's hunting through chat rooms, dating sites and social networking sites searching for victims, looking to cash in on romance. If you are over 40, recently divorced, a widow, elderly or disabled then all the better in his eyes. Scammers are adept at psychological profiling, and use any weakness they find to their advantage.
It's the newest evolution of the Nigerian advance fee (419) scam. Instead of sending spam letters that promise millions for your assistance, these scammers are targeting single men and women who are searching for love online.
They use psychological tricks to lure their victims in, use poetry and even gifts to get them under their spell, then once you are there, will try to reach for your wallet, all the time declaring their 'undying love' for you. The scam may take the form of asking you to cash a cheque for them through your bank account because they are 'out of the country' and unable to cash it themselves, or they may come right out and ask you to send money to help them out of a fabricated 'financial difficulty' they claim to be experiencing. These are all lies used to try to make them easy money from an unsuspecting victim.
The sad truth is, for every real profile you see on the internet, there are numerous false ones pretending to be your perfect mate and using photographs stolen from modelling or social networking sites. The people in the photographs are as much victims as the people who get scammed for hundreds, thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars.Internet romance scams and other related crimes are very real, and they are affecting -- even ruining -- lives throughout the world.
The best weapon against this crime is education. The more people that are educated in the ways the scams work, the harder it is for the scammers to make money and the more scammers that can be put out of business.
A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigned romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud. Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victims' money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, and/or national identification numbers or by getting the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf.
In the 1980s prisoners within the Louisiana State Penitentiary in unincorporated West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, United States operated an advance fee fraud scheme. Advertisements, mostly of men seeking men, appeared in newspapers in Canada and the USA. In each case, the scammer sent the mark an image of an attractive person and gave a pressing reason to send money. If the mark complies, the scammer asks for more money. Kirksey McCord Nix used the scheme to raise enough money to attempt to buy a corrupt pardon from the Governor of Louisiana.
Scammers post profiles on dating websites to fish for victims. Upon finding victims scammers lure them to more private means of communication to allow for fraud to occur.
Many scammers favor religious dating websites such as Christian sites, because the users are more complacent. Religious site users tend to assume that because they are on the religious site, their fellow users will have high moral values.
Rhonda McGregor, an online moderator for the ROMANCE SCAMS Yahoo! group, stated that many romance scammers avoid answering personal questions and ask their victims many questions.
Narratives used to extract money from the victims of romantic scams include the following:
The scammer says their boss paid them in postal money orders. The scammer wants the mark to cash the money orders, and then wire money to the scammer. The forged money orders leave the banks to incur debts against the victims.
The scammer says they need the mark to send money to pay for a passport.
The scammer says they require money for flights to the victim's country because of being left there by a stepparent, or husband/wife, or because they are just tired of living in their country and somehow never comes, or says that they are being held against their will by immigration authorities, who demand bribes.
The scammer says they are being held against her will for failure to pay a bill or requires money for hospital bills.
The scammer says they are sponsoring a orphanage and require extra funds to help repair the building after a fire, a friend sends you a cheque if you can transfer the cash to the scammer.
The scammer says they need the money to pay for the phone bills in order to continue communicating with you.
The scammer says they need the money for their or their parents urgent medical treatment.
The scammer says they need the money to successfully graduate prior they can visit you.
The scammer offers a job, often to people in a poor country, on payment of a registration fee. These are particularly common at Africa Dating Scams.
thanks,my teachers !
I bought so many English textbooks at bookstore.
'' Everyday '' I must learn those books but
it is so hard for me to learn English !
Some people say '' a e-mail '',
other say '' an e-mail ''.
When I read the newspaper,it says '' A European country ''.
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 !!!