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.
hi guys,i have just started comunacating with a girl from russia and advise would be appreciated.
she sent me a message on a meeting site that said she was from melbourne,australia but after a couple of e mails she now says shes from Volzhsk.i then googled this and found out its in russia then found this site.
i must say she is rather hot and all her e mails contain a new pic.
at the start the photos do look like a modelling session but now i'm getting normal photos and family ones.
are some russian girls looking to move or is it all a scam.
anyway,here is her pic and some advise would very much be appreciated down here in australia! :-)
Aleksandra Zabolotskih from Cheboksary, Russia.
IP: 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 ...... ( each letter a new IP)
She asked money and few days ago I wrote in this site ( money letter + photos) that she is a scammer.
I said that to her. But yesterday she sent me her photo holding my photo in her hands!!!!!
What now????? Is she a scammer????????
Please, help me!
Hello my dear Cesare!
I have received your new letter. I was is very sad, that you have written to me.
I was simply in a shock. I very much was upset, that you wish to tell to me, that I not the present woman.
At me very bad states of health after your letter.
You have written the letter as a knife to heart.
As you could about me so badly to think.
I was with you fair and is sincere. You wish to tell to me, that I deceived you. I was glad yesterday to you to call.
I thought, that you the real man. Which will be my husband.
But today having read your letter. You have simply killed me. Your words.
I yesterday after your conversation. Has specially made for you a photo.
That you would understand as strongly I wish to be with you. To show to you, that I the real woman.
And you do not need to worry.
I hope, that you will understand, that I real. Also I wish to be with you.
You simply do not wish to help me. And tell, that it is a pity to you of money for my arrival to you.
You find the reason, what to me not to send. You play with my feelings.
You have sent me the reference. I came on this reference. I understand, that in our life it is a lot of deceit.
But I not such bad woman. To me is very insulting to hear from you such words.
CESARE, Looks as if your scammer knows how to use photoshop.
email@example.com (fr = France)
IP Information - 18.104.22.168
IP address: 22.214.171.124
Reverse DNS: [Timeout]
Reverse DNS authenticity: [Unknown]
ASN Name: IANA-RSVD-0
IP range connectivity: 0
Registrar (per ASN): Unknown
Country (per IP registrar): RU [Russian Federation]
Country Currency: RUR [Russia Rubles]
Country IP Range: 126.96.36.199 to 188.8.131.52
Country fraud profile: High
City (per outside source): Unknown
Country (per outside source): -- 
Private (internal) IP? No
IP address registrar: whois.arin.net
Known Proxy? No
1) Did you send her a photo bigger than her face?
2) Looks like someone is holding your photo in front of her photo, casting its shadow above her photo's right shoulder
3) The pic seems altered at the tip of her third finger
The girl doesn't hold that pic. How can somebody hold a pic with her left hand without using the thumb? Looks like a girl's hand holding it in place under a scanner. Stupid mistake!
Thanks OJAS! You are right! Very smart!
'The girl doesn't hold that pic. How can somebody hold a pic with her left hand without using the thumb? Looks like a girl's hand holding it in place under a scanner. Stupid mistake!'
Thanks Dirk and Doc!
Now I am sure that she is a stupid scammer!
The hands looks like similar in the 3 photos. Or not??????????
But the scammer was stupid when didn't use the thumb.