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.
Is the following e-mail from Irina Sukhanova from Russia a scam?
Hello my friend
I am so happy to see that you have decided to reply,I see it is very
short letter.It is all right because you are astonished to get my letter.
I want you to know that I have only good intentions and I have not any secrets.
The thing is that I will work in your country for three months or so and I would
like to meet a nice man to fall in love or just be closest friends.
I don't want to live in Russia because I have not any chances here,it is hardly
possible to explain from first time but
I want you to know my plans.I will work in any shop, bar or restaurant the
agency that i am going through will suggest
me some locations. It will be my choice in the end as to what option to go for.
So I will have a simple work till I improve my English. And I can choose any
town of your area,agency will only help me
to get a visa and all travel documents + some suggested placed to work in. My
best friend last year met the man from
the USA when she worked
there for three months, too. She had two jobs. From morning till 4 pm she
worked in amusement park and after
it she worked as a waitress in some bar till midnight. She was very tired of
course but made very good money there.
It is special programm for young people who wants to work abroad and 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 want to repeat the same way,it is
only my chance to meet a nice man.I want to work in USA or in Europe or any
nice country. I am full of plans and different dreams and I want to share my
life with good man because I'm also full of love
and tenderness,I know that I am not so beautiful like Hollywood Princess but I
do hope to meet my Prince and
I am sure he will be not be disappoined to meet me in the real life! This is why
I am going to go through the same way.
Well,I will close this letter and I do hope to get your reply.
I will leave russia in two weeks or so (I can't tell you everything exactly
right now) and I would like to be sure that I
have the man who waits for me there. I will work all day and I want 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.
I will tell you all details about me and my life if you like my pictures and
want to meet me! please send picture of you too!!!
Now I write you from my personal mailbox, please write me back here and here
only. I will be checking it often.
Kiss you ,Irina (this is my name)!
I think you will be asking me about where I found your e-mail
I found your e-mail in the adress book in the internet, the name of
website I don't remember and decided write to you
anonymous from United States
soon or later this girl/guy will ask you for money.I have never seen the exact letter, but the wording is the same of just about everything else on here.I would say you have a better chance of winning the lottery, thanthe chance of this person not being a scammer.
anonymous from Chile
Greeting from chile..
I want to introduce you Alena Antonova.I am not sure at all wheter she is a scammer or not...we started having contact one month ago.She has sent me more that 20 mail,all of the written in English..besides, I have got more than 7 photos of her.She never asked me for a photo...everything was ok til the moment she told me about her intentions to visit me ,in Chile.She named an agency through whcih she would do the arrangements to her fly.Two days ago she asked me for money: US 268...in that moment my 'ideal' girl made me doubt. She claims to be a teacher,she has never been married and lives with her mother.All that she has told me seems to be real.
For contacting me she used crossroad..from that moment she asked me to write her to her personal mail...I hope she is not a scammer because I simply like that girl...
Hi Tim ! Have good day! I am glad that we with you shall to have the
correspondence. Your profile is very interesting to me and coincides
with my inquiry. I Preliminary studied them and has decided to send
you to the first the message. I hope, that You have time to send me
some messages that we could it is better to find out each other. I
shall tell a little about myself; my age of 23 years old, my name is
Nadezhda. I was not married and I live in an apartment of my
Grandmothers. Some years, after the ending of training I work as the
seller in shop of clothes. To me To like productive leisure,
periodically go in for sports for maintenance of a body. I like to
travel and be in different places, but My work does not allow me to do
it frequently. I have many friends, We sometimes together spend time,
play billiards and tennis, we have Other entertainment. I to send you
the pictures that you represented me. In the first picture you see me
at job the second picture as was accepted at job Also I want to ask
you to send me some pictures of you. Please Ask things interesting you
about me and inform me some The information on you: what you love an
entertainment? What your character? What You love qualities in women?
Whether You had the wife? I shall answer on your questions and to
inform you it is more about itself in following E-mail! I shall be To
wait for your messages. Your friend Nadezhda.
anonymous from United States
HEY GUYS OUT THEIR HERE IS ANOTHER SET OF PHOTOS OF A GIRL FROM IZHEVSK,PUSHKINSKAYA RUSSIA WHO SENT ME PHOTOS, BUT DID NOT SEND ANY MONEY
SO BE CAREFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
anonymous from United States
anonymous from United States
Gents, this one goes by Natali or Natalia , either from Pskov or St Petersburg. She has a email of email@example.com but I am sure that is only one of them. Very good at her story. I lost 3000 pounds very quickly before I realized I was scammed. Do not be fooled.
anonymous from Canada
firstname.lastname@example.org from Germany
Greeting from Germany,
Subject =Alena Antonova,
We’ve been writing to each other for about a month now, what made me suspicious from the start was the fact for someone that says she is an English teacher, her English is very poor and sometimes very hard to understand what she is saying, she has up to how never answered a single question that I have asked. My research has up till now given nothing, except that some of her letters have a similarity to the text used by other known scammers, for example her daily routine what she eats for breakfast, how she gets to work etc. I have seen on other websites. She contacted me posing a friend from someone that has found a man and has got married over crossroad.ru here is her first email.-
Member has tried to send a Letter:
First Name : Anastasiya
Last Name : Anastasiya rrrrrr
Country : Russia
Email : email@example.com
Letter : firstname.lastname@example.org I ask you to write to me the letter on my personal personal box I the best friend Anastasiya. Anastasiya has got acquainted with the man on an Internet. And already has left abroad. And now it will be fast wedding. So I Anastasiya have left the structure on a site And now I write to you this letter. Hello ......... My name is Alena I from Russia I seeking a male for serious relation. I hope to have found my love in the internet I very like to your profile and And I would like to get acquainted with you closer... Please ::::::: my e-mail email@example.com Keep my address -------- a/l/e/n/a/b/a/b/y/1/9/7/9/@/y/a/n/d/e/x/./r/u Also write to me the answer MORE LIKELY!!! Your friend Alena PS: WRITE TO ME ONLY ON MY ADDRESS ELECTRONIC !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I shall answer only the electronic address !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I shall send a picture !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
With the answer came the same photo as above!
Up till now she has not asked for money, although she has dropped hints that she “wants to meet for the big festival end of year”
anonymous from France
this is the new one of the best scamer baby doll!! svetlana ohotnikova!! look at my new sexy baby!lol
anonymous from United States
Hi, Vicktoriya Makarova's nearest email is her name @gmail. She treid to scam me just this week to help her with holiday travel plans. I did a google search on her on found out a whole lot. Thanks, Mike