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.
1) It's risky to give away your e-mail or sensitive personal info. There are sniffers that can put your e-mail in their database and you'll get spammed like ''get rich quick, why bother working?'' etc.
2) In a typical Ukrainian translation scam, the girl's dress is rapidly diminishing, after about 5 letters, you'll hear from ''her'' translator that ''she'' has depleted the account, and one of you have to pay something on the order of $250 per month (USD)
3) Ergo keep your hard-earned Aussie dollars in YOUR own wallet mate. If you like, play along until you receive the money-letter, remove your personal info, post with full headers and save another mate.
It's mine pleasure to know how you are doing today?.
I believe all is well with you.
As for me iam doing well and i felt very happy reading your mail as i
will like to come over to meet with you immediately after the transsfer of
my money to your position for a better life.
My dear i prayed and fasted when i got your contact before it was revealed
to me by God that you are the right man for me who will love and cherish me
without minding our colour difference.
My dear i want to come over to meet with you for the rest of my life as i
have seen that you are the right man for me and i will like you to help
me in the transfer of my 7.7 million dollars so that you can send me some
money to prepare my travling document to come over to meet with you for a
Honey i loved you so much and i can't wait to meet with you for the rest of
my life and iam looking towards that lovely day when i will be meeting
with you for the rest of my life after the transfer of my money to your
position so that you can send me some money to prepare my traveling documents to meet with you for a better life.
My dear please i will like you to send an email to the bank today about
the possible transfer of my 7.7 million dollars deposited at TRIODOSBPLC OF SCOTLAND which my name appears as the next of kin due to my refugee status here in Senegal.
I have informed the bank about you and they are waiting for your email
so that they can transfer this money to your position for our lovely
Here is the contact information of the bank in Scotland where the
money was deposited by my late father is as follows,
TRIODOS BANK PLC OF SCOTLAND
NAME OF THE TRANSFER OFFICER IS MR OLIVER STOCKEN.
TELEPHONE NUMBER IS +44-7045729905
FAX NUMBER +44 709-280-4174
Already i have informed this bank about my intention to claim my late
father's deposit of which my name appears as the next of kin. The only
thing the bank told me is to look for a foreign partner who will assiat me in
the transfer due to my refugee status here in Senegal,as a refugee i am not allowed direct claim of the money but through an appointed representative as the united refugee law governing refugee all over the world states.
Based on this information i will like you to send an email to the
transfer department of the bank today with this email address
Attentioned Mr Oliver Stocken the foreign transfer officer of the bank
telling him that you are my representative and that you want to assist
me transfer my 7.7 million dollars deposited by late father of which iam
the next of kin after which you call me on phone today.
THE ACCOUNT INFORMATION ARE AS FOLLOWS.
ACCOUNT NAME IS DR KINGSELY OTI
AMOUNT 7.7 MILLION DOLLARS.
NEXT OF KIN MISS JUWAN OTI
ACCOUNT NUMBER 87423006
God bless you as you do this today,
Hello, It's Me. . .Marvin Cecil Gonzalez here in Chi-Town.
It's been a long time since I last posted.
Now . . .
About Naomi's passport and visa photos posted above ( or rather on page 98 - acouple of pages back ) . . .
Contact the U.S embassy and her countries embassy here in the U.S.
Email them the photos that you posted.
Just google the appropriate embassy and you will find the e-dress or link in your search results.
Be blessed and safe.
Marvin Cecil Gonzalez
[hidden] from Atlanta, United States
Hey fellas, below is the 3rd message I sent to my 'Maria.' As you can imagine, he/she did not attempt to convince me further that he/she was a hot, desperate Russian chick.
Hello Maria! I must confess that handsome American man in picture not I. My name Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and I am president of Iran. I live in average Iranian city of Tehran. I am looking to know citizens of Kazan. UN think I working on 'power plant,' but they have big stupid slow liberal thumb up international asshole. We have big nuclear program and am looking for new testing zone. Iran not good spot because radioactive camel have too many hump and sometimes retard. Kazan look like good spot. Do not worry, it just like big firework. Maybe we make the 3-eyed fish together like Chernobyl? You may holiday consider taking that week. We are peaceful nation. Big flash and heat for use blackmail to Israel only. Program constant on constraint of budget so please for you to send money as friend with Western Union. I will give address at reply. Perhaps consider you to join my harem? My 3rd wife makes the love while look at your picture! She is excite to meet you.
In close, I hope REAL man in picture not find out I steal his picture. He look like big and everybody know when finally pissed off American it consistent you not have good outcome! Stupid though. Big, stupid American. I impatiently await reply! bye bye!
Hello cutie .
How are you doing today , sorry i just want to drop a line or two , your profile is nice and amazing and you aint looking bad too ,i would love to get to know more about you and see what happens... im new on here im just looking for new friend to heal my pain in my previouse relationship .
I caught my roomate and my boyfriend in bed i was hurt terribly because i trusted both of them , and they hurt me badly.. they had to beat me and kicked me out of the aprt .I dont know why all men are not honest i hope you are honest,..... Im just looking for an Hoest and caring man to trust and get to know , maybe more ....
I..m from newark Ohio ... and Im 32 this month ...I have never been married and i have no kids, but do like kids ... im 5..6 inches , blue eyes , black hair , i weight about 130 pounds ....I love the outdoor and indoor recreation , i enjoy snowmobiling , skydive ,snowshoeing , shopping ,cinema,Park,long walk , swimming , go to new places , meeting new friends ... I love ice cream too and i love to cook ....Im very laid back and Honest ....Im sweet and caring ... if you are intrested Email me back to my personal email address and send me some more couples of pictures and tell me little more about yourself i will do the same ... Kellyflowers3031@yahoo.com ....Email me back there so we can share pictures ,get to know each other and see what happens ... Looking forward to hearing back from you in my email address.get back to me asap there..
Kelly is on MySpace now
She is on MySpace currently
anonymous from United States
Just for information, a note someone posted on a different thread confirmed Naomi's Passport was fake.
anonymous from Netherlands
Is somebody here who now this girl====
anonymous from Netherlands
Hello again I vergot the emailadres firstname.lastname@example.org
Eddie from Sweden
anonymous from Netherlands ....never seen these photos before on this site. (they look a bit scammy though)
but if you want to be sure if she's real, please post the advanced header from one of her emails. We can trace the IP address. then we can see if she's writing from where she says she is....or if she's using a proxy server to hide her location.
Do you know what an advanced header looks like? Do you know how to do it? Here is a headre from a spam mail I got a few days ago:
Received: from ch-mail01.sth.basefarm.net (10.7.4.100) by cpms03.sth.basefarm.net (188.8.131.52)
id 4649994200B1829F for email@example.com; Sun, 8 Jul 2007 23:10:26 +0200
Received: from pool-71-165-193-54.lsanca.dsl-w.verizon.net ([184.108.40.206]:50318)
by ch-mail01.sth.basefarm.net with esmtp (Exim 4.66)
for firstname.lastname@example.org; Sun, 08 Jul 2007 23:10:01 +0200
Received: from kpguli.ubi.com (kpguli.ubi.com [220.127.116.11])
by pool-71-165-193-54.lsanca.dsl-w.verizon.net (8.12.11/8.12.11) with SMTP id kMN5sZgsU056577
for <email@example.com>; Sun, 08 Jul 2007 21:09:49 +0000
From: 'had thurston' <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 08 Jul 2007 19:22:26 +0000
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.3790.2663
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.3790.2757
X-Scan-Result: No virus found in message 1I7e11-0005bi-4R.
X-Scan-Signature: ch-mail01.sth.basefarm.net 1I7e11-0005bi-4R 08bf9a8612db9e21168a79373d9e7ad6
X-Spam-Score: 5.0 (+++++)
X-Spam-Report: Scanned by ch-mail01.sth.basefarm.net
pts rule name description
---- ---------------------- -------------------------------------------
0.0 HTML_MESSAGE BODY: HTML included in message
3.0 BAYES_95 BODY: Bayesian spam probability is 95 to 99%
2.0 RCVD_IN_SORBS_DUL RBL: SORBS: sent directly from dynamic IP address
[18.104.22.168 listed in dnsbl.sorbs.net]
Subject: Earn with us
X-NAS-Bayes: #0: 8.15461E-092; #1: 1
anonymous from United States
Ask yourself this...How many REAL Russian's would use Yahoo.COM,The US version???
Eddie from Sweden
Very good point, anonymous from United States. And one I have made occasionally.
But it generally depends on their level of English. I met up with a real Russian woman in Moscow who had a hotmail account, but her English was really good (spoken and written). And I've also had contact at some time or another with quite a few other real Russian women with yahoo or hotmail accounts, one from St Petersburg, one from Saratov, one from Voronezh, one from Uzbekistan, the ones I can remember. All confirmed real and all spoke or wrote good English, two of them had lived in the UK.
Otherwise, a girl who can't speak very good English would write to you from a cyrillic account. Mail.ru, inbox.ru and yandex.ru are the most popular among real girls. Rambler is a traditional scam email provider, I'm not sure why.
On the other hand, all the real girls who spoke good English would certainly have a Russian account as well, for their Russian friends and contacts. Who wants to write in a foreign language ALL the time? And Yahoo and hotmail are very convenient for chatting.
Anyway, let's face it, how many email accounts do YOU have yourself? I have 5...2 hotmail, 1 yahoo.com, my work address and my home address.
Finally, I have to say that it's incredibly easy to tell when a girl is writing in her normal English and not using one of those ridiculous scamlish translators.
3) gmail (not to be confused with gmail.ru, a non-google provider)
Chatting or e-mail with top domain US (for example) using gmail, hotmail, yahoo + ordinary English likely points to a REAL girl
Sandra Kelly <email@example.com>
Am Linda by name, i m 29yrs old , from Michigan acme I am tall , good looking, perfect body figure and cute. I saw your profile and was delighted to contact you, I hope you will be the true loving, honest and caring man that I have been looking for, And I have something special to tell you about me, . Well i'm a single woman, that's in need of real and perfect love, I need a man that can take me through, see , I have been hurt so many times by different men and wouldn't want that to happen to me again.....thats the reason why I said that I need love.......I am far from a millionaire and am not out for anything but love from someone.....Having someone that loves you and supports you in your life through good and bad times and wonât give up on you is what I am looking for.....Honesty and trust are what makes a relationship work......I prefer to watch a movie or attend the theater rather than read a novel. I also enjoy travel, experiencing different geographies and people......My eyes are brown, and I have fair white skin. I do not smoke. I do drink on social occasions....... well Concerning sexuality, I am not a promiscious woman, my desire is to be sexually faithful to the man I marry If two people love each other and will communicate what they like and do not like about their partner's sexual behavior, I believe many problems can be resolved Moreover I am currently working on my own cos i had to try something else after i lost almost all i had to my last relationship..i just got into the business of collecting antiques...it is a nice thing to do..i buy and sell antiques.......And am presently out of the state on a business trip to get some antiques.....Am doubting if i will be coming back to the state this week or hopefully next week i think..Well i will be waiting to hear back from you soon.....Remember i need real love and am not not here for game, or either to be played.......I also write poems in my spare time.....distance is not a problem..if i find the right MAN..i dont mind relocating... i have relocated before when i was in love..i dont mind during it again as long as i find the right man..i am a very honest and truthful woman..i hate lies and deceit..i want real love..if u aint ready for what i said...please dont hit me back.. i am getting too old to play games..i am a very busy one...lol..very independent...hope to hear from you soon!!!