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.
My name is Nadezhda. I live in Russia. Acquaintance on the Internet is popular now all over the world.
I long did not dare to use the Internet for acquaintance. But after my girlfriend
Has found the good guy through the Internet, I have decided to try it. In what country you live?
I think, that in your country
More possibilities it is good to live.
There, where I live now - not the best
Place for a life and family creation. But even in such country I can make
To itself good residing. I like to work, I have a family, and I want
To have the best life with the good person whom I will love also as
He will love me. I think, that women, here good enough to be
The wife for the person from for borders.
I the woman who appreciates love, fidelity, honesty. I am not spoilt easy and
Carefree life. We could find out the friend
It is better than the friend. I also wish to draw your attention and therefore I will not be today
To write it is a lot of. I only will tell now, that to me of 28 years. My growth of 170 centimetres.
My weight of 51 kg.
I hope, that you understand, that I wish to create a family, I wish to live in your country.
I have in this life everything, except for a family and love. Now when I have achieved
Much on my work and a life, I wish to create my family. I not the poor woman.
I concern middle class in Russia. I have good work, and I have the good
Money for residing at Russia. Besides I am rich spiritually.
I hope, you can look my photos which I send you.
Yours faithfully, Nadezhda.
P.S. I hope, that you will write to me but if you do not wish to write to me I ask
That you have told to me at once about it and I could continue my search.
I hope that you will like my photos.
wanwan from Japan
Aho, is fair to tell, I knew, that you will write to me! It really brings
To me pleasure, that I have received the answer to my letter!
I wish to tell at once, that I also have written to two more other men. However all of them
Have not answered the letter. Possibly later they will write to me. I hope, that you not against
I have written not only to you. If you do not want, I will not write to these people.
You have written me the first and I appreciate you more than those people.
My first letter to you was short. I have to you there many questions that I at all
I know from what to begin. I will try to ask you so many questions how many I
I can today. Besides I want, that you have told to me about your life!
Aho, I wish to know, you understand my purposes of our acquaintance? I wish to explain to you
The purposes of my acquaintance. To me now 28 years - good age to create a family.
I search for my sincere friend. I wish to marry.
I wish to live, and I wish to have a happy family. In your country I
I can give more to my family and children. For this reason I wish to live and work in
To your country. I wish to assume, that
Our purposes coincide. I will hope, that you also search for love and happiness.
I will hope, that both of us wish to live a worthy enamoured life and happiness.
It was about my purposes, and I possibly should speak now about me. I will write
Only the truth about me.
I do not think, that there is a sense to speak a deceit. You agree with me? Both of us search
Love. I want, that my love was strong, pure, existing and up to the end
And I will hope only for your honesty, and I will trust you. I in general had
Usage to trust people. I do not trust the Internet however, but I have heard much
Happy histories from other people. In the last letter I spoke about my girlfriend,
Which as has found the happiness through the Internet. Those people spoke, which has found
Each other on distance of several thousand miles also has fallen in love. Now they are happy and
My work allows to use for me the computer. I at all did not represent that
So many people search for love on the Internet!!!! It is many sites which offer
To find people.
I wish to speak to you a lot of the prophetic! Please excuse me if I cannot speak
It is a lot of today. We will still have time to speak! Before all of us still it
Should study a lot of time each other! Today I had a lot of work. By the way!
I have not told anything to you about my work. I work in the company on manufacture and sale
Confectionery products. Our company is occupied in manufacture of confectionery products. Others
Words we make confectionery products and we sell it through our shops.
I work as the director of commercial department. I on this post 3 years! My work
Pays to me good money. I have worthy residing. I work, and I get tired
On work. I receive fair money for work. John, tell to me about yours
To work. You are glad to your work? It is important to love work.
Today I wish to send you some photos. Later I will send to you more
Quantity of a photo. I have also the house computer, and there is present more
Photos. My computer of the house is not connected with the Internet and therefore I can
To send you my photos only from work. I will take measures to send to you
It is more than photos. Well? And I wish to see your photos also!
Well, I will wait your other letter. You possibly already have more questions
On me? Write soon! Have good Day! Nadezda.