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.
Sorry for the duplication, missed this page. Posted from page 91.
anonymous from Auckland, New Zealand
To: Hidden dated: 2007-06-17, 13:58:10
Yup, have heard of 'her'...
That is is the same pic I received in his/her first email to me
Went by the name 'Tanya' from Kazan
Suspected scammer from the get-go...but nice to get lovey-dovey messages even when you know they are form written and fake...
Contacted me through a local dating site...
She hasnt asked for money yet, but I went from 'zero --> hero' in under a month, and she didnt answer questions in her email (like 'what language do you speak?' )
Finally got my 'A' into 'G' and did a little digging and found the first email she sent me copied on this site...
Funnily enough, the email header with the message listed the IP of the PC thats been compromised to send the email...
I've registered 'her' as a scammer there...
See if the email is the same ;-)
I particularly like the pink top pic you can see on the site above - the gold necklace $$ sign...
An indication of where your money might be :)
She's been suspiciously quiet since 05/08, so 'she' probably knows
Hope this helps other guys...
[hidden] from Auckland, New Zealand
Have to say...
Been through 92 pages of searching for a pic of my scammer - I need a real life :)
but GOD DAMN! There are some lovely woman out there!
Even if they are just pics of various models and not really interested in us - I can imagine them all toether in some big ex-soviet era state!
A deadly weapon if ever I thought of one - unleash them all on the western world at once...
anonymous from Iceland
I love this website, what started to be a search for my 'only one' has turn into scam hunting, a very intressing hobby what has totally taken my mind.I even opened special email account to answer this criminals and stir theyr mind sending them all over for money transfers and stupid things.
drod from United States
Welcome to the asylum.
anonymous from United States
You might also consider starting a new Iceladic thread, by clicking the last button, Add a new Scammer. If your countrymen want to post in your language to that thread, and in English to other threads, scammers will find fewer countries to target.
Have a nice day!
email@example.com from United Kingdom
Any one hear. I am looking for any information on a girl from Russia.
Elena (Lena) Danilova, From Izhevsk. Elen28@bluebottle.com If anyone has any info .I would be most grateful.
KNOWN SCAMMERS & POTENTIAL SCAMS INQUIRY HISTORY
INQUIRIES MADE BY MEN OR WOMEN COMMUNICATING WITH THESE PEOPLE
click on the Email address link to see other names and locations used with that email address.
click on the Last name link to view simular inquiries, reveals other claimed locations, first names used, spellings, email addresses etc (strongly recommended)
First Name Last Name Email Claims to Live in County Money
Phone Inquiry Date
naberezhnye chelny russia View Map Yes - 25 october 2006
izhevsk russia View Map - - 14 july 2007
kazan russia View Map Yes - 17 february 2007
yoshkar ola,ioshkar ola,joshkar ola russia View Map - - 16 october 2006
kazan russia View Map - - 08 january 2007
krasnoe selo russia View Map - - 09 november 2006
busk ukraine View Map Yes - 05 october 2006
busk ukraine View Map - - 25 july 2006
yoshkar ola,ioshkar ola,joshkar ola russia View Map - - 19 january 2007