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.
lol, please dont tell me you are buying some online girl.if you are you must be ssooo sad
...too late somebody named me this.....
....as you know I am straight out..always......
....today used to be your Guiness day....proost.......
anonymous from United Kingdom
'lol, please dont tell me you are buying some online girl.if you are you must be ssooo sad '
....no, sorry.....fishing stuff at XXXX, in USA, ferry- and flight - tickts only.....LOL X LOL
jaffa from United Kingdom
this mail sound familiar??
':oops:' It was very nice to receive a message from you!
I'm sending my photos so you can remember who I am.
it is my first time I try to correspondence with man in internet world.
I do hope you will be enough patient to understand my writing.
I want you to know that I have only good intentions and I don`t have
big secrets. The thing is that I will work abroad for three months or so and I would
like to meet a nice man to be my guideor just be good friend to spend time with.I think that it is
hard enough to live in foreign town without friends and also I have never been abroad. I am from so small
town here in Rusian Federation,I am afraid to be lost.
I want to see real life and it is impossible to see without
person who knows all sides of the life. It doesn`t matter what age is
he or what is his eyes color, I just want to know that he is kind and open-hearted inside.
I don't want to live in Rusian Federation because I have not any chances here,it
is hardly possible to explain it by the first time but I want you to
know my plans. In Ru ssia many young girls also want to start a new life abroad, so
many of them used a special program 'W ork and travel' for young people who wants to
work abroad. I also decided to do so and to use it. This program just helps to
register documents and gives suitable work in any state(town)of USA, Canada or Europa (or other big
country) . I just need to choose.I already started to register
documents and now I need to decide in which city I want to work.
I`m 26 years ':='(:' old and I`m not afraid of work (I shall work as the seller in shop or cafe of a fast food).
I think it is the right way for me, I am lost here, and I think that I look pretty enough
to find a better place. I never been abroad so I decided to find a friend abroad and make his
city to be my destination. I want to repeat the same way,it is my only chance to change my life.
I am full of plans and different dreams.
I fair-haired and at me grey eyes! I think I look very good, but
first of all I want to be beautiful inside.
I do hope that you will be not disappointed to meet me in the real
life if we will meet.
Well,I will close this letter and I do hope to get your reply.
I will leave my town in a few days or so (I can't tell you everything
exactly right now) and I would like to
be sure that I have a man who waits for me there. I will work all day
and I would like to find a man to spend all free time together to get to know each other better.
if you have any interest to meet me I will be more than happy to meet
you too. My be it sounds silly but I just don't want to be alone in the
evenings,and I want to be sure in advance that somebody waits for me!
I think that my e-mail starts to be too long so I will tell you all
details about me and my life that you would like to know in next e-mails if you will like my
pictures and will want to meet me! I send my photos.
I hope you the soft and kind as my toy on photo (as mine Mike Mouse)
With best regards Oksana! (this is my real name)
I hope it's OK with you and I will receive an answer from you!
I'm responding from my private email address.
I hope I'm your type of girl, I'm not sure you like Slavic
appearance!! I hope so!
OK, I will wait for your answer. When I hear back from you I will
write more things about myself and send more pics
anonymous from United Kingdom
anonymous from Netherlands
wat mij opvalt is dat de vrouwen de mannen vinden.. iets om over na te denken heren..en ze zijn TE mooi die meiden.. zulke meiden hebben geen last van eenzaamheid geloof me.. nee geld voor het vliegtuig, enz
...you always tell them to post in their native language....you have to learn some more, only.....LOL X LOL
anonymous from Australia
Hi again Dirk, just been looking at some of the threads and I reckon we may have another husband/wife or girlfriend/boyfriend combination happenning again with the Natalya V/oleg case. I still reckon this is a new tactic the scammers are trying. Also it is now obvious more scammers are checking this site out! Keep up the good work.
Cheers Mad Mick.
OJAS from United States
Now you are accusing me of being selfish!! LOL!
I am NOT an ANGLO-CHAUVINIST!!
I always use translators ... But if I post from those, Eddie will say my translator sucks! ... I guarantee that!
So how do you bring in newbies, and yet not scare away with my translations?
For them to post in non-English is always welcome. That is a less efficient way of getting help. If they supply below their posts, whatever translation they can, they are more likely to find faster help!
Dirk from Nuth, Netherlands
Translation: The Anon said that those girls are too beautiful to be lonely. It's something to think about. Do not send money for airfare, etc.
Hmmm, I'll think about it. LOL
Hello everybody, hello anon from australia, I guess you are right...as soon as I put pictures about scammers in this forum.....they stop contact by email with me.....I guess that the scammers are checking this site and another sites....and again thanks for this site, with the information that you give in this site I can identify scammers very fast....
jaffa from United Kingdom
definately a scam, emails received so far match more or less exactly another scammer listed here, I'll give all the details when the enevitable question is asked...shes travelling to moscow tomorrow blah,blah so I'll have a bit of fun going along with this for the time being, great site by the way!!
The name & pics being used are not showing up anywhere else so i'll obviously a new 'identity' which will be revealed very soon I think....Keep up the good work guys