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.
I have noticed that most pictures (90%) of their beautiful women that they always seem to hide that left ring finger. It might seem unlucky or whatever to take that wedding ring off? I also think that their husbands or boyfriends take the pictures of them.
I often ask who took the picture and how old it was and never seem to get a response.
In my photoshop when I hover my cursor over it I often get a date and size and what model digital camera was used. I suppose I was wanting an answer to see if I was told what I already knew...
anonymous from Kuwait
I got few emails from a girl call herself OLGA ,
Do you know her ...
anonymous from Kuwait
I got few emails from a girl call herself OLGA ,
Do you know her ...
anonymous from United Kingdom
Irina has tried it with me - Im winding her up not telling her i know its a scam - i want to give her back what she has done to others.
anonymous from United States
Hello gentlemen. It is sad to see and for me to read all of your misfortunes. It is sad when a man has to use a computer to find a mate. I am one of the sad men that has resorted to such means to find a mate. We all wear our hearts on our sleeves when we go 'on-line' in search for a soulmate. I have found a new one that re-invented herself over the last year. She is, oh so beautiful! I hope this helps everyone that reads this!
This woman goes by Elena currently. In the past it has been Nadezhda Platunova a.k.a Nadya, Nadyusha, Olechvaz. Also, Platunova Nadezhda.
Address is Russia 666024, Town Gramatuha, Street: Zaozernaya, House #9
Email Addresses used: Current:Lenusya24@yahoo.com Past:Lovolga@mail.ru, Olgabox@bk.ru, Margosha606@mail.ru
Hope these pics. help to identify her. You can never forget her once you see her!
From Russia to Senegal, check this one out!
How are you today hope all is well? mine is a little
bit hot over here in Dakar Senegal.just like i told you in my first mail that i'm from ivory-coast, but due to the war in my contry, that cost the dead of my father and my mother which made me to stay hear as a refegue. my condition here is terrible Its just like one staying in the prison and i hope by Gods grace i will come outhere soon.i don't have any relatives now whom i can go to all our relatives ran away in the middle of the war the only person i have now is Rev Emmanuel George. who is the pastor of the (Christ the king Churches) here in the camp,he has been very nice to me since i came here but i am not living with him rather i'm leaving in the women's hostel(in the camp) because here they have two hostels one for the men the other for women.The Pastors Tel number is ( 00221-43-78-716)if you call and tell him that you want to speak with me he will send for me in the hostel because of my conditon here i don't have any right or privilledge to some things be it money or whatever because it is against the law of this country.I want to go back to my studies because i only attended my first year before the traggic incident that lead to my being in this situation now took place. Please listen to this,i have my late father's statement of account and death certificate (as next of kid)here with me which i will send to you latter,because when he was alive he deposited some amount of money in a leading bank in United kingdom which he used my name as the next of kin,the amount in question is $8.6m(eigth Million six Hundred Thousand Dollars)
So what i need from you is, for you to see that the money is transfered to a good account and also to make arrengment on how i will come over and stay with you and continue my life and education.
my choosing you is a question i knew you must ask and i think it is a good question.i have two reasons for choosing you, i choosed you because it is the will of God.and i believe knowing you will bring hope back again to my life.my choosing you does not mean i do not have anybody from africa.i have two uncles,that is my late fathers junior brothers whom i think are suppose to be taking care of me but they do not care,all they did was to sell my late fathers houses and company to one mr olson steven from united states and enjoy the money with their wives.
i wanted to tell olson about it but should my uncles know of the money,they can kill me ,so as to eat the money,it was as if my father saw their dead because he told the implication of having a big money in africa and that was the reason while he made the deposit in scothland.the day i wrote you first,i picked up three address from a dating site and i prayed over it with my Rev,father.he broth the pieces of papper and wrote the three email address in it and fold it,he ask me to pick one and i picked your email address,then i decided to write you and i also believe that it is the will of God.However you can call me with the reverend office phone line, my favorite language is English but our official language is French ,but i speak English very fluently because i attended an American and English speaking private school all in my country for almost all my school,I will like you to send me some of your pictures and also try to call me as requested so that we can hear each other voices,i have a lot to tell,i will be thinking about you so much,as i will be waiting to hear from you soonest,
have a wonderful day