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.
firstname.lastname@example.org SCAM Olga Sicheva SCAM SCAM IP Adress 188.8.131.52 SCAM IP Adress 6.0.3790.2444 SCAM scam IP Adress 184.108.40.206 SCAM IP Adress 220.127.116.11 SCAM IP Adress 192.168.0.2 SCAM IP Adress 18.104.22.168]) Scam IP Adress
anonymous from Switzerland
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email@example.com SCAM Olga Sicheva Olga Sicheva Olga Sicheva firstname.lastname@example.org
anonymous from United Kingdom
Greetings from the www
Well,to the Guys who ask about Alena Antonova
I also have been writing to 'Alena' for about 6 weeks,pretty much knowing,she was a scam,and today,I
have finally found a site with her listed on.
No doubt,we all have the same Emails in our Inboxes from her.
She contacted me via crossroad,ru,and as I had never even heard of the site,let alone join,then,it has to be a scam
In fact,I 'joined' several Russian dating sites,though,apparently,'when I joined' I could not remember my date of birth,and
am 6 years younger than I thought,woohoo,bless those russian 'babes'
Anyhow,I have about 20 or so Emails so far,and 15 photos,though 2 are the same,as she inadvertantly sent me the same Email twice
Same story,English teacher,Cheboksary,living with widowed mother,etc etc,English,obviously very poor,never answers questions
Hints about money all the time,though never actually asked for any,yet!
Want to move to my country,get married have children,as she believes 'children are our future'!
I won't bore you with another photo,as you probably already have them,or are due to recieve them in the near future,but,suffice it to say
this is the same girl,writing to you,as me,sorry chaps,hands off she's mine ;)
How are you? My name is Ekaterina. I am 26 years old. I live in Russia, city Zvenigovo. I am cheerful woman, and like to do many things as sport, camping, go to the cinema, theatre etc. In a word I like to do all what like all people. I work in marketing structure on sale of cosmetics. My dream this travel abroad. I know the english language well enough.. I began to study english language approximately one year ago. I wish tell to you history which have pushed me write to you. 8 months ago I have got acquainted with the man from other country by name Patrick. During this time we had good relations. We have understood that our relations become serious and we have decided to meet in his country. I wrote the application for reception the visa. I waited reception of the visa approximately half of year. All time I kept in touch with Patrick through the internet and often called to each other. I and Patrick waited reception of the visa to our meeting.
I have received the invitation from the ambassador for reception of the visa. My director has given me long-term holiday from work and I have gone to Moscow to receive the visa. I informed good news to Patrick, but he has answered, that does not want our meeting. He played with me. He has informed that has the wife with two children and at all has no plans to meet me. I was not ready to such turn of events. I could not think what even after 8 months of acquaintance he can so unscrupulously act with me. Now I am in Moscow trip to Moscow and reception of visa. I do not want that all was gone for nothing and will be glad if my visa will be useful to our meeting. I could arrive already through 4-5 days, but a problem in that that now I have no man which would like my arrival. Probable it will silly sound but if you will be interested in a meeting with the good woman I shall like to meet you sometime soon! As Patrick was dishonest with me I have decided to find the man which is interested to meet the woman from Russia. I do not know your ideas about my letter, but it would be fine if we could meet and have some weeks or months together. On my trip I want to receive rest from my work and a life in Russia. Also the basic purpose for the future it is search good men for serious attitudes which go to a marriage. I have no children, but I want to have children in the future. I am the mature woman and ready to creation of family with good man. I do not know what you really search in the future but if we could meet I shall be happy to discuss with you more about our meeting. What are you going to do this time? It would be fine if we could meet, do friendship or more than simply friendship. I shall be happy if you also have a free time and we could meet soon. I do not know your interests, but anyhow write to me back and I shall tell to you more about myself. Write to me all that you want. Maybe we have similar plans and it will be interesting to us together.
You can write all that you want. Ask any questions which interest you.
Write to me back and I shall tell more about myself and send more my photos.
Please, write to me back on my regular e-mail: email@example.com Have a good day,
Part 2 In response to my question.. 'where did you get my email address from?'
Hello my dear friend ****!!!
How are you doing? I hope that all perfectly. I am very happy to receive your letter and to see that you really to be interested in my first letter.
Really it is very interesting to me to learn you more and to study you.
I as would like to tell to you about that that I really lonely woman and I very much would like to have acquaintance to the man for serious relations.
For this purpose I to address in agency of acquaintances and to give them my letter. To me to tell that I can really find the man through their agency and they to allow me a little e-mail. I to choose yours and you are very pleasant for me that to answer my letter. I hope that we can study more about each other. I to understand that to you is interesting where I to take yours e-mail, but now I can not tell you it precisely because I to not have contact to travel agency, and it to be in Zvenigovo, and I to be in Moscow now, and I can receive the visa to your country.
When I have received yours e-mail, to me have told, that you search of the person for the serious attitude. I to not know whether to want you it now but if it is the truth, please to write to me the letter and then we shall have our meeting.
But if you to have the wife, or the girlfriend that please to inform about it, and we to finish our correspondence. I to not know you as the person, but I to want to learn about it.
I very much want to have acquaintance with good the man.
I as to have some questions for you.
How there is your life? In what country you live? What city you live?
What you to think about our meeting? You wanted that I could arrive to you during a week?
I hope that this day to pass well for you and you to have good mood.
I wish you good day and success.
I wait for your letter.
Your friend Ekaterina.
JPK from United Kingdom
A strange thing is, the top mail was sent from a company (geniune company) mail address that do construction work!