Scam scenarios

Her scamming ways: How to spot a scammer and her methods.

The scammers on the Russian Internet dating scene are busy these days. They are so active that real women don’t stand a chance! Using professional photos from the Cosmopolitan, or pictures of famous Russian actresses, they ensure success because men just can’t go pass this “raving Russian beauty”.

I am the director of agency, and as a professional matchmaker who helps men from this, and other agencies, I am often asked for a professional opinion about the state of relationship with a girl, and to provide analysis if she is suspected to be a scammer. Over the years I have become well versed in the methods used. It would be great if you can heed advice below before you commit to a relationship that starts online. Below is a escription of their methods for entrapping men.

There are two types of Russian dating agencies: those that sell contact details to male clients, and those that have ladies in their database and suggest to men to write to them using their mail systems.

The first type of agency is the ideal place for such scammers to spin their web of deceit. Firstly they place a really good photo there, and many men of course write to their home address. Later on we will see what happens after letters start to flow, but please note that not all agencies delete the profiles of these “beauties” when clients complain about their tactics. Unfortunately though, in many cases men don’t complain for the fear of not wanting to appear foolish for being taken in by a scammer – they don’t want to feel foolish.

The second type of agencies, the subscription type, works in a different way.

How do scammers operate?

1. Firstly – beware of a GREAT photo on the site. Do not fool yourself. Having a photo says nothing about it belonging to the person responding. We do the checking of girls’ information here in St-Petersburg by clients’ requests, and I from time to time asked to verify “these Russian girls”. They were usually men, who made scamming their profession, or who use their mother’s or girlfriends’ real name and surname needed for postal address to receive money through Western Union. There is no way you can know that the name of a woman you get is not a Russian girl of 20, but a Russian woman f 52, who is just asked by her son or neighbor to go and get money in Western Union office from time to time “for his business”.
That is the main problem in combating scammers online. While we can place a warning in the scam lists about a name/photo combination being part of a scam, they just find another picture, register another e-mail address, take another name, and they are ready to continue to “work”.
Many are men, and they know what men fall for; they know the nature of a man better than any women knows, and they know how to make a man lose his head. But now that you have read this, you will see immediately when a scam begins to unfold before you. You are forewarned, and you are now armed with invaluable information.

2. The next step in the scam is the “direct” approach – to make a man leave the site’s experienced staff, and to begin to write to her private email. Scammers understand that if they begin to work their scam in the site’s system or directly on the site, they will be immediately thrown out by the site’s owners and other men warned. So they need to disassociate a man from the site’s staff and focus their attention exclusively on themselves.

How is it done? In fact the method is a signature that gives them away, because it is always the same. The scammers write to a large number of men. The letter can be large or small, but after some small talk there is an nvitation to write to “her” email directly. If you are standing in the street, and a very nice and interesting girl comes to you and invites you to go with her to a dark alley, will you go???? I think, no, at least, not in all cities. you will realize that you have nothing to wait in those dark alleys except problems Of course, if you have talked with the girl face to face; had a walk with her, and began to feel her personality, moods, and nature; if you begin to feel interested in her and to fall in love with her, then yes, you will want to meet with her directly and intimately, kissing and whispering sweet little nothings to each other. However I doubt this will happen on your first meeting, so why should it happen after one letter?
When a girl gives her email in the first letter to you, beware. This is a warning sign for me. I will be grateful if you can write to the managers of the agency so that we can pay more attention to this girl, and try to check her credentials immediately. Another interesting observation is that they almost never take the test on our site. They seem to be afraid that it will detect their true nature, so they shy away from it.
Let’s imagine that you follow the girl’s request, and write to her direct email. What should be her next steps?

3. Exchanging letters with “her” is the next step in the scam. It’s interesting that in the several last cases of detected scam the “girls” wrote to the men that they work as nurses or doctors in clinics, but maybe it is a coincidence and they can invent different professions. I know of a case when a man and a “girl” exchanged 38 letters in 38 days before the next step, so it depends on the case, but would you believe that a doctor or nurse has the time to write letters daily? These scammers are good psychologists, and it can depend on the individual they are trying to scam. What then are the warning signs?

4. The next warning sign is that the “girl” does not want to give you her telephone number. You will be told that yes, she can communicate each day with you over the Internet (or use the Internet at work), but she has no telephone. Yes, they understand that you want to hear her voice, and in many cases, they will take your telephone and call you, but you won’t be able to call her, not at work, and not at home.

5. Another warning sign is that you will be told about her love for you very quickly in the relationship. You can expect to have an acknowledgement of love already in the second letter.

6. So now we are ready for the “close”. The “girl” thinks that you are ready (especially on ICQ where things start to happen very quickly), and she makes her next move. Sometimes she will say that her friend has a man in Spain, Italy or Germany, and this friend went to Spain and met her man there. Now you are ready for the “close”, when she says that she wants the same trip, but with you. She wants to come to the USA “and have two wonderful weeks alone with you”. What the two of you will do together will be outlined in great detail, including dancing the first evening, and hiking the next day and so on. There is usually a lot of discussion what you will do together, where you will go, how wonderfully you will spend these two weeks. What man can refuse such an offer?

7. Of course next she asks for the money to go to Moscow, to apply for a visa and buy tickets to the US. In some cases, she can ask for US$1500, and in some cases she can say that she has half the money and so “only” needs the second half. It will depend on her “budget”. Be aware that IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR A RUSSIAN WOMAN TO GO TO USA so easily – COMPLETELY IMPOSSIBLE. That is usually when I come on the scene. Many men have heard about it, and know it well, so when a woman begins to ask for money to be in the US in two weeks, they come to consult with me about possibilities. We usually do the girl’s identity check straight away and find that all of her story is a fake. I have investigated several such cases, and I am now sure that it can’t be my mistake or the girl’s innocence and naivete. If a girl asks you for money to go to the USA – Do not fool yourself. She is not an innocent and a bit silly girl who does not know the realities of life. She (as a rule, he) is a thief who is after your money. If you offer to come to her and meet her in her home town, she will refuse point blank, and will insist on her coming to you.

There is only one way to stop these scams. If all men stop sending them money they will stop their “business”. If you find yourself in this situation stop communicating with her immediately. Tell the agency about her. For now they can’t be stopped by a scammers’ list, but only by men realizing their true identity, and not sending money. Deny them what they are after and that will be the best way to make your mark on the fight to clean the online dating industry of scams.

Accident scamming scenario

The beginning of this scenario is the same as Main Travel scenario. An interesting blonde with model photos or with usual photo but looking for partner for Love of any age (from 18 to 99), talking a lot about love, sincerity and honesty, writes to a man. If it is a dating sites where email addresses are sold then she will put model photos that will attract many men, all of them will receive the standard reply and the work began. If it is the site like yahoo, match, American singles she will be very active there, she will be online often, and gather, gather men to work with. (sometimes they work for 24 hours – 3 shifts possibly). The scammers then set about establishing intimacy by using pet names and many times claim that the destiny leads them together. They quickly declare love and express a strong desire to be physically present with the men, almost in each letter discussing what they will do together. The scammers are very devoted to the men and send romantic messages sometimes up to 20 times a day and use more and more revealing photos. So the beginning is standard. Then they exchange messages, sometimes it can take even a year – scammers see the readiness of their victims and then begin the next stage. Again victims are lured by a possibility to see soon the girl at their home. Very often scammers are going to the man or a man should visit her soon. And then something happened. They or their relatives go into a car crash or they get ill and need an operation urgently. The declaration of love and excuses alternate with requests for money. Of course, after money is sent, they disappear immediately.

Quick variant of main scamming scenario

The beginning of this scenario is the same: as Main Travel scenario. They use the same pictures, they use the same several steps, but they do not want to spend month or months in communication, they want to do it quick. They also use the motive of men to be good and not to ditch suffering females. After they establish a contact with a man – 1-2 or several letters, they notify that they are going already to a man (of course moved by Love).
1 variant. They come to Moscow and “going” then move further to the man’s home city. There they see that their money is out (either they did not expect that the flight to Moscow is so expensive or they have to pay a lot for hotel there , but to continue their trip to their man they need money. Of course, they will return them when they can. They are going to work in USA or in other country; they just need money to get there. A man is in hard dilemma – what to do? The girl that was going to him is in alien city, without money, without relatives. She asks him quickly to send her money to do something and “she can’t wait” as hotels are very expensive in Moscow. He even does not have time to research what is happening, he is moved by a desire to help. She suggests him to send her money to a person in Moscow (think!!! If she does not have anyone in Moscow how can ask to send money to somebody. Even more interesting it seems a variant where she asks a man to send money to her bank account. Can you imagine a girl from Yoshkar-Ola or Kazan or any other city from not central city to have bank account (funny – to a man’s name ). I live in the second biggest city in Russia- St-Petersburg, but I do not know any girl even here who has bank account where somebody can send money. So you send money not to suffering female but to a criminal group in Moscow.
2 variant.They have a chance of a life to travel to the man’s city – their girl-friend works in a travel agency or a relative works there, so they can help with this. But they need money now. Of course, they can pay half of the sum and think it is fair to ask a man to pay the second half. It is fair but… a girl is not going anywhere, she is just after his money. Very often the girl does not ask for money herself, a man receives a letter from “travel agency” where he is asked to send money for the ticket and visa. That’s why it is so difficult to catch scammers – they can tell you their different names and surnames and have different email addresses but then they ask to send money to the third name (Western union or bank account).

The newest Nigerian scamming scenario

I run not only dating site with Russian girls but also dating sites for disabled people from all over the world. The last year or so there many people from America began to register. But something was wrong about them. A young beautiful (model photos) girl of 27 registers to disabled site, writes that she does not have any disability but she wants to find real life, it does not matter if her chosen one will be a disabled and if he will be 60 she is tired of loneliness. Many ip addresses in spite of the address written in their profiles showed that they are from Nigeria, others show that they are from USA or Israel or Canada but in some time they thought it is safe not to go through a server -anonimizer and went from local ip- Nigerian. We just did not activate such profiles or closed them later. But then I was contacted by people who explained this kind of scam. They met these scammers on the sites that do not do ip address checking and allow them to operate on their sites. These people, men and women alike, use great pictures (model kind, very sexy and nice), men and women agree to meet anyone between 18 and 60 or 70 and they are very active. They again try to move the man away from moderated sites to private emails or chats. In some time of communication when they see that their victim is ready (talks about marriage, or fell in love) they write that they need to go to Nigeria on some short term project. (or they were in Nigeria when the communication began but soon they will come back. Then they just want to go quickly to their beloved, and they ask for their help. They can ask directly for money but more often they ask an innocent sounding request to cash a cheque/postal order for them. Interesting, but in August 2006 I have heard from a man that he was a subject to this kind of scam from Russian girl, who also asked him to cash a cheque for her so that she could come to him. They claim that these are work related cheques that they haven’t been able to cash due to the different banking system in Nigeria (or Russia). A man asked to send her money to Nigeria by Western Union or Money Gram. In fact, these cheques are forged or stolen. But they will eventually get rejected by the issuing banks.

Gift scamming scenario

The previous scenarios are rarely done just by separate people (women or men), usually it is done by groups of Internet scammers. But this scenario is used by real girls, real women. A man finds a girl on a dating site (there is nothing in her profile except wonderful pictures and readiness to communicate with all men that write to them) and after some communication when rapport is established, he comes to visit her. The first meeting is often great, they talk, they have much in common. During the next meeting she suggests to go with her to the shops and choose there a clothes of a bag for her. There is nothing suspicious in her request. And the victim goes with her to the shops. The girl does not go to cheap or average shops, it should be always lux. There she chooses a very expensive bag or fur coat or even the whole set of clothes (an evening dress, jewellery to it, a fur-coat and boots and she expects a man to approve it. After that she comes to the counter and waits for him to pay for all the things. The man feels very uncomfortable. Usually in such shops they are the only buyers, and all the shop staff helps her to choose clothes so when they come to the counter he feels all the eyes looking at him and expecting him to pay. Some can refuse (tell her that he needs first to call to the bank for the purchase to be approved) , some can’t and feel obliged to pay. If the purchase was done then the next and the following days the girl is very busy and can’t meet. If not, then the next day he is under her bombarding with the request to pay for the purchase (the shop assistants are calling to her about it all the time according to the legend). What is best to do in this situation? Refuse and leave her. If you know that it is a problem for you then just refuse to follow her to the shops. Wait for her outside, in a cafe. If she is interested only in a gift from you, then after such thing she won’t meet you again and just disappear.

Restaurant or accommodation scenario

It is similar to previous scenario. A man falls in love and comes to meet her in her city. Money is spent on the traveling, expectations are high (they had wonderful communication with her before his visit). Accommodation scenario begins before his visit. The girl-scammer suggests him to live in a good apartment she knows. Usually he is promised that they live there together and so she can the right to choose a place to live also. She refuses his variants and insists on her own. When he comes he is asked for all the money for the apartment to be paid in advance and the price for it is usually higher than the average apartment rent. Then the girl disappears, she answers the phone but she is busy, busy, busy. And the man is left in the apartment with nothing to do and nobody to be with, just waiting for her. This scenario is rather rare, I met it only with Lithuania scammers, but who knows maybe someone else is operating it. Restaurant scenario does not show itself until a man actually comes to visit the girl-scammer. She usually writes in her profile that she does not know English, and to the meeting she invites her girl-friend. Usually she insists that they go to the restaurant for the meeting. There something strange is happening. They talk and take something to drink (very little) but the bill is huge. Then they go by taxi to his apartment (they see him home) and then the taxi should take them to their houses. And again the taxi-drivers asks for a lot of money, more than usual. Usually they just agree in the restaurants (clubs) and with taxi-drivers to take more and then divide the profit. If the man can demand explanation in the restaurant, then they just try to eat as much as possible there and leave. But many men just feel uncomfortable to make a row about money in the presence of girl they like. Both scenarios this and Gift scamming scenario are rather rarely used. Why? Men actually meet the girl, and she can’t use the different photos on different sites, so when a man puts her to scammer list, she is usually thrown away from many dating sites and many men learn in some time about their listing there and are forewarned. It is in travel and visa scenario scammer artist can use different names, different pictures to lure men and they can change them as often as they want. But these girls have to stop their scamming career in some time from several months to a year.

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