“I came to the airport with flowers to meet Sofiya. I waited for 3 hours. It was so naive on my part. Not only did I lose $3,625, but my heart was broken”, – Scam Victim
The Common Pattern of the Scam
First the scammer will write about life in Russia and how difficult it is when your pay is a few hundred dollars a month and all men in Russia are alcoholics. Then her family become ill and need surgery or maybe someone even dies in an accident. The scammer skillfully plays on the victim’s heart strings. There is no one to help her, only he, her knight in shining armor.
The situation may not necessarily be so serious. She just can’t pay her bills or wants to visit him as she loves him. Instructions are usually given on how to send money, more often through MoneyGram or Western Union. No matter how much time has passed since the first contact, a cash request is a scam.
Scammers act from countries with low incomes and they are ready to wait for months until the deal pans out, even if it concerns a hundred dollars. They prefer Western Union and the like because these services give no possibility to track the person who receives the money.
A scammer, a woman or a man, can operate solo or belong to a group of scammers. In any case he or she poses as a charming young woman. Such scammers can hire Russian women who will talk to you on the phone.
Visa or Plane Ticket Scams
Time will come when she tells you she wants to visit you. As she is short of money, she will certainly ask you to give it to her so that she could obtain a visa or buy a plane ticket. Or she can ask for money under the pretence that she wants to achieve her dream ‒ to move to America.
As this scam pattern is presently known (too many people have swallowed this bait), now the scammers produce “proof” ‒ a scanned visa. Don’t relax your vigilance. It’s not difficult to fabricate a visa. There may be more requests for some cash under the pretence of different problems that prevent her from setting out.
If you have acquainted with a nice Russian woman online and want to meet her, go to see her in her country. It would be a much wiser decision. Besides, any Russian woman will appreciate your efforts.
Russian scammers also resort to one more type of scams. A Russian woman says that she doesn’t have a command of English and employs a translator to interact with you. One day she is sure to tell you that she cannot afford it any more. You are supposed to offer money, or they even ask to provide money for this service.
Fake Marriage Agencies
On the Internet there are fake websites posing as Russia-based marriage agencies that promise to unite a Western man and a Russian woman. There are a lot of genuine dating websites in Russia; still, there are some fake ones. You will spend a good deal of money but in vain. In order to keep off this scam turn to dating services that have a good reputation.
Some More Warnings
Great Photos, but Vague Descriptions
In this case you may be dealing with a scammer, maybe a man, who has downloaded stunning photos (obviously taken by a professional photographer) from the Internet to attract more victims.
Suppose you were not alarmed by the first warning sign and started a correspondence with an attractive lady from Eastern Europe. Are her emails too gushing? Does it seem to you that she does not bother to read your letters? These may be template emails which the scammer sends to dozens of addressees.
She’s Stuck on You
People look for love on dating sites but if a lady who has never met you says about her eternal love towards you, rest assured it is a scammer wheedling you into money.