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.
Has anyone seen this women before or have you been contacted by her. She might go by the name Katerina or Ol'ga. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
hi, yes, it´s a scammer. it looks like boys who are pretending they are pretty girls are concentrated in the small town called volzhsk. if you are contacted by a girl from that town, be very careful.
anonymous from Slovak Republic
e-mail address of katerina (ol´ga): firstname.lastname@example.org
by the way, guys there are really in a hurry, they even messed things up by sending me a picture of other girl instead katerina´s one - see the pic.
Thank you for that, person from Slovak Republic. I had a feeling it was a scam. After reading letters from other men who were being scammed. I have all the same photos you posted also. Thanks again.
anonymous from United Kingdom
RE LETTERS FROM NIGERIA.
YES OF COURSE THIS IS A SCAM, DONT EVEN THINK IT COULD POSSIBLY BE ANYTHING ELSE
anonymous from Istanbul, Turkey
Hi!... My name is Haldun and i live in Edirne from Turkey.I'm 31 years old and single.I'm engineering and am working to be egricultural adviser about since 7 years.I'm very cute,honest,understandingand gentle man.i am looking for a very nice girl for longterm relationship or marriage!am working and am have house,car and summer resort. am thinking serious longterm relationship & .....
I like drive a car and sing in the car,swimming,football,traveling,pets(animals),go out,computer,camping,gardening,shopping...etc I'm looking for a girlfriend all over the world!....Maybe love...maybe marriage!...)
i hope see you soon!...
my facebook Haldun Edirne
to email@example.com: you are welcome :-)
she is so cute, isn´t she? for me she is the cutiest scammer here :-)
anonymous from China
I received the same email and picture from this scammer called Liliya.
Her email address is : Liliya3003@yahoo.com
I ask about time of performance and they said that there is many
people who wants to make documents and leave the country but if I'll
make the application now, and pay for it now, they will make all
documents not more than 2 weeks, and if I'll not make the application,
documents will be prepared not earlier than two or three months
because there are many people who wants to do it. So that I have put
in the statement at once. I was told that I can go to you when I issue
all documents. My love Martin for trip to you and registrations of the
visa and the passport for travel abroad I need in the following
1 - The passport for travel abroad.
2 - Medical test.
3 - Consular gathering is paid in addition.
4 -Two photos (5x5).
5 - The insurance.
6 - The information from a place the works.
7 - Documents about the real estate. (a maximum of docks).
8 - The certificate of birth.
9. Consultation before submission of documents in embassy and before
10 - After submission of documents by us - interview.
Yes, so much I need to prepare documents for my trip for you. I have
been simply surprised in it, but I for our meeting, I will try to
prepare as soon as possible. Tomorrow I will ask for leave from work
that I have had time to make for one day to prepare documents and
after tomorrow to go in tourist firm, to give the documents for a
trip. I hope that you have received this info and you know now that is
necessary for a trip. I will wait from you for the answer
anonymous from China
A letter from scammer Liliya (firstname.lastname@example.org.
My love Alex! Would like to name you my prince, whether I can name so??? My Prince, I love you more with each day Yesterday I saw fantastic dream about us with you. I think that you would like to hear
it: I had a wonderful dream of us together. We were walking in the gentle waves of the water at the beach. Walking hand in hand kicking sprays of water on each other. We walked for a long way and then you lay to my down on a soft blanket away from the waves. I began to kiss you very gently on your lips, then I kissed every exposed part of your lovely body. Then we slowly undressed each other and began to explore each others bodies with our hands and mouths. The moon was shining brightly and you soft skin glowed from the moistness of my kisses. Our skin was on fire for each other and we made passionate love for hours.
We lay on the blanket and looked at the stars as we held each other in a warm embrace. We saw a shooting star and made a wish together. Our wish must have come true because we once again gave in to our feelings for each other and began to make slow and wonderful love to each other again . When we finally were so tired from all of the wonderful love we had made we noticed the sun was beginning to rise above the water.
We watched the sun rise from the darkness until it beamed all of its wonderous light upon our still unclothed bodies. I slowly put your clothes back on you and then dressed myself , you then picked to my up and carried to our room. We both fell to the bed from exhaustion. I hope you enjoyed my dream as much as i did. When I woke from sleep I wanted so badly to hold you in my arms for real and I was upset very much that it dream. After that, I would like to speak by with you to phone. After such dream, I want to hear your voice.
I looked all your letters and I do not know, you have written me the phone number or not. Forgive me, write me the phone number that I could call to you from a pay phone.
I these days will call to you, please wait from me it is sonorous.
I shall wait
your letter I love you
I love YOU!!!