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.
Need a bit more infor than you've given to confirm Natalia/Nataliya as a scam.
Couldn't find any info on 'Oleg Ponkratov'
Have you traced 'Natalia's' IP address? Does her IP correspond with where she's supposed to be writing from?
Have you talked with her on the phone? (bet she says she doesn't have one) You should be able to call her any time...or at least chat with a webcam.
Check out the welcome page/ primer for newbies just below this post for detailed info
Eddie from Sweden
To any newcomers who find their way to this thread ...FFS READ THIS!...and save yourself a lot of grief and/or homework:
As regards Russian scams and scammers:
The vast majority of Russian dating scammers are not women at all, but actually MEN, mostly students, working in organized cells - known as 'offices' in Russian scamming jargon - in or around Yoshkar Ola, the capital of Mari El republic, sometimes in Chuvashia....occasionally further afield.
Most scammers are VERY lazy and only looking for quick cash money. They use email extractor programs to get your mail addresses (if you don't have a profile on a dating site, that is)...for example:
..and multiple identities with copied form mails and spam programs on automatic reply, very often the BAT!, with which they can personalize small parts of each letter if necessary.
They mostly won't read your mails until after the pay-off - known as the 'money letter'- because they don't have time, ie because they're mailing, and trying to scam, as many guys as they can (economies of scale).....and also because they're semi-literate lowlifes who can't speak much English anyway. They call this initial phase 'zakidka' -- which means 'fill 'em up' in Russian slang. IN OTHER WORDS, you can write almost anything in your replies and they won't notice, the scammers only get interested when they're curious to see if you've taken the bait.
It's virtually guaranteed that the girls in these scam pics aren't directly involved in the scamming because the scammers steal their pics from the internet or pay unsuspecting friends for them, or buy and exchange them on scammer websites. Mostly they steal them. (Once an experienced Russian scammer actually admitted to me that he stole all his pics from army-of-brides.com and mamba.ru). Occasionally they'll use a local girl for a pic set, usually a scammer groupie. Real female accomplices are otherwise only involved either to phone a guy up, for the sake of appearances, or to pick up the loot at Western Union.
And more recently, the majority of Russian scammers have started using proxy servers or IP spoofing to hide their real locations so ALL YOU REALLY NEED TO DO IS TRACE THEIR IP ADDRESS to confirm the scam! (if you haven't worked it out already, of course). Untraceable IP address = scam. Spam program the BAT! = 75% scam
As you notice, I am not Anonymous from nowhere.
Peter may have other thoughts, but this is what you must realize, if you are who you say you are.
This site and others like it are here for educational purposes. To report scams and scammers.
It seems that you do not understand the things we do. That the person in the photos, male or female are NOT the ones doing the scamming. Scammers steal photos from the internet and use them for illegal purposes. The person the photo is also a victim.
Although you may not be involved, the photos need to remain posted in order to educate others of there use for scamming purposes. It really is quite that simple. Are you against education.
The photos were posted in good faith as being used for a scam. Not necessarily calling you personally a scammer.
Here in lies the problem.
You and your 'sis' have chosen to remain 'anonymous' without country. As all of these requests do. And they have been posted by the SCAMMER trying to clear their 'name'
Peter and the regulars here know better.
OJAS from United States
An example of a rebuttal after a girl discoverd in about 3 months her pictures are being stolen. http://www.delphifa..p=3#64966
... 3 months is plenty of time to discover these facts. Barring a few instances where some assholes oblige me to use vulgarity as their only laguage of understanding, I appear with an identity and a country. Even during vulgar posts regulars know my signature.
anonymous from United States
Hello Jean, This is Andy. I did not get an email rom Liliya today, but I told her yeaterday she needed to end me both her phone number and address if she wanted me to love her back. lol Guess them boys have got to think that one out. Darya wrote though. Same IP address. New picture not posted yet. I think though I am just getting bored with this. You can have Liliya, and I think I will tommorow just post Darya's letters and Photo's before someone actually believes in her. So far I think it is just me and you with Liliya so I will wait a few days. Andy This image was also posted here: Dating scammer Liliya Alexandrova,Liliya Hasanovm Liliya Hasanov
anonymous from United States
Ok guys I too have been bitten by the dating scammers. I first received an e-mail from Liliya thru match.com that said she lived in Ms. Then I receive a wink from this Liliya from Russia. Hell of a girl but I was very skeptical. We have continued to e-mail each other for about 5 days now. She has sent me numerous photos of her and a friend, her mother and herself and photos only of her in different places. Thanks for the heads-up on this scamming racket, much appreciated. I think I will continue to see how far they will try to take this game.
Thanks Crickey for joining this thread with your input. I wish hidden Aussie had chosen some acronym making conversation easier, but exchanges with Crikey have proven he is a Aussie.
I do not recall exact words Tony used, but sounded like doubt instead of accusation.
Newbies join delphi after various reasons, but many after having been hurt by scammers. Some lose $$. Some lose prospect for a future partner. Some lose existing relationship and so on. But a victim is a victim.
The noble concept of presumed innocence is not practical in a mainly criminal reporting site. It is more like how do I know you are not a scammer, unless proven otherwise.
The approach of course must be prudent to determine which side a poster is on. I have no problem in delphi or elsewhere if someone thinks my shirt is red. It is alright, if he wants to satisfy himself by asking whether he had seen me in a butcher shop (doubt). I am not going to take it kindly, if without a ream of evidence, he asks how many people have I murdered so far today? (accusation without evidence has no validity outside mental asylum)
Just noticed Crikey here, my Edit button still available
Hi Crikey, as some of you may have seen Julia's rebuttal, whenever her pic surfaces, someone will identify her as a victim of identity theft instead of a scammer. It helps the next woud-be victim to know that the girl in the pic is a victim herself, by letting the fraudulent pix stay.
Hello MJ, the thing I find funny is If you send the girls $400 RU it's only about $10 US.
At the moment $1 US buys about $48 Ru.... If you want to be a real bastard, send them there $400 Ruble, and tell them there is plenty more were that came from....
Ha! Ha! that will really piss them off.....david
Hey Jean, Liliya did give me her last name. I'll post later and hopefully my email to the address you posted got to you. No phone, address 14 soviet, Lum, Russia and she got pissed when I said AI couldn't find it. Asked why I didn't trust her. But did give last name. Then when I didn't write back for a day, sent a love letter asying how much she missed not hearing for me. Now another fish. Lan, my Asian future wife said I could still play when talking to her on the phone today, but said she would rather I didn't. Even though Lan does not speak the best english, I understand her better than Liliya's writing. That means I don't get to play anymore. But I will keep posting what I get frome Liliya and Darya who is more persistant in a short period of time than Liliya. Or course we already know Darya has used 3 other names with her pictures. Liliya is the pictures and letters we need to get on here before she or he is successful in her scam. Tommorrow I post both letters and photos. I know some look like real letters but most are added to form letters. Even If she changes her name I think between us we have enough photos. Darn she just looks so innicent. These guys are really hurting probably a very nice young lady. It is a Shame she doesn't probably know how well know her face is known. If she is truley looking for love, these scammers have ruined it for her. Andy