Avoiding Women Scams
If a Russian woman asks for money, it’s a scam. Why won't you believe me?!!!!!!
Plain and simple. A Russian woman would NEVER ask for money or complain about her financial situation. I live here, I know. They don't earn a lot, but that's changing. People aren't poor like 10 years ago. Jobs are paying better now and many people have a lot of money. Making ends meet isn't hard as it used to be. If you get a letter where she complains about her low paid occupation, sick relative or broken computer, be careful. It’s the first step of the money whine. Russian girls are proud and never outright ask for money. READ!!!! Any girl talking about tickets, visas, travel agencies or marriage should be avoided...or at least google her name when she does it. GOD YOU GUYS...WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If she asks you to send her money to come and meet you.
The scammers have realized that the "I love you - send me money" scam is working anymore, so the last resort to try and get money is the tickets/visa scam. NO nice, everyday girl would ever do this. They would never fly to another country to meet a guy they never bet before. You might be an ax-murderer. Read the visa page about visa problems.
If she tells you that she uses an agency and needs money to pay.
Agencies charge men and don't charge women. Any girl that says this is either working with the "agency" or doesn't exist and it's someone with photos of pretty girls, sitting in a room, writing letters, and taking your money.
If she wants to meet you in a third location.
Many girls have no problem writing letters for months simply to have a free vacation. Why would you pay for 2 tickets? Go to her country.
If she loves you after 3 weeks or 3 letters.
These girls are intelligent and they don't fall in love like mindless morons. They are well aware that love needs time, and for goodness' sake, a face to face meeting.
And the strangest, most difficult scam...
Here is a big (Ukraine-style) scam. You correspond, you talk on the phone, you go and visit. You pay for everything, taxis, interpreters, gifts, you go back home. The girl loves your time together, you continue to correspond and maybe visit again. Where's the scam? The agency is making a fortune from your letters and visits, they want it to continue, but the never had any intention of a future with you. How can you spot this scam? You can't. Read reports on your agency before you get too deeply involved.
NEW (SEPT '10) - Good news. There are NO MORE new scams by girls. There is only ONE type of scams that the girls do these days. The travel scam. If your girl states that she wants to visit you and that she went to a travel agency, this is the scam. If you get a letter from a travel agency, it is a scam. The visa/passport/travel scam is the only scam that girls are doing these days. It is the only scam that works now. So, they have no choice but to use it. Girls never visit guys that they have never met before, it is TOO dangerous in our world these days.
NEW (MAY '09) - Because these scammers send out so much spam, guys get many letters out of the blue. Many guys then ask the girl where she got his email address. This is a canned response that is used a lot and if you ever see it, you know it IS a scammer. Here is the scammer reply to avoid - "I went to the internet cafe and I told them that I wanted to meet a foreign man and they gave me your email address.)
NEW (Aug '07) - This is actually not new, it is VERY old. But I thoughtg that it was so easy to see, I didn't need to warn guys about it. But, I guess this scam happens to guys that are not aware of Russian scammers. If you join a regular dating site and either write to a girl or get a letter from a girl, then after one or 2 letters from her, she reveals that she is Russian and she had to list her country as yours because the site would never let her join because she is Russian - DROP HER IMMEDIATELY. This is how scammers find unsuspecting guys. A real girl would never do this.
NEW (July '07) - There is a new trend in scamming. It is getting a lot of guys and making the owners very rich. The worst part is that most of the guys have no idea that they are being scammed. New dating websites (for FSU girls) are being set up. They are not agencies, just regular dating sites. They are fake. They are a scam. They are easy for me to see because I have been operating my site since 1999. How can you spot them? Quite easily. They are good looking web sites with thousands of women. And ALL the women are BEAUTIFUL. This is IMPOSSIBLE. On any site and at any agency, you get a variety of women. And as in real life, there should be more average women than beautiful women. If you see a site that has ALL amazing women, something is wrong. Ask me to check one if I don't have it listed yet.
NEW (May '07) - I have recently noticed a huge change in scamming. There are far fewer individual scammers and more groups. These groups are starting to leave English sites and are targeting German, French, Spanish and Italian men. Because all antiscam sites are in English, the scammers think that they can more easily scam non-English speaking guys. So, that is why I have translated my main pages into these other languages.
READ!!!! TELEPHONES - Some guys are saying that if a girl says that she has no phone or doesn't give you her telephone immediately, that it is a sign of a scammer. THIS IS FALSE!!!! Many Russian apartments do NOT have phones. And girls get calls from some pretty crazy guys that scare them, so not giving their contact info right away is a good idea. And if they accept calls from abroad on their mobile phones, they have to pay a lot for it. IF a girl immediately asks for YOUR phone number, this is a bad sign. And if a girl calls you, this is 99% a scammer. These girls cannot afford to call overseas to all the guys that write them. A scammer does it to hook the guy. Trust me.
New (Dec '05) - The hi-tech scammer. They are putting scripts in their letters and when you download the letters onto your computer mail server (Outlook Express, etc), the script starts reading your computer; looking for credit card information. Search your registry from time to time if you use your computer mail server and have letters from Russian girls saved there.
New (Oct '05) - HOT OFF THE PRESS!! A new scam wherein the girl says that she is a US or British citizen in Africa. They need money for one reason or another. They use photos of Caucasian girls, so it looks real. Most likely they need help getting out of Africa. Aren't these African scammers getting cleverer? If the Russian stereotypical scammer is named Hairy Yuri, what shall we call the African male scammer posing as a woman...Muscular Mumbasa?
New (Sept '05) - I now have 2 reports (one about Russian girls and one about African girls) going to the states with a group of models. They need your help to arrange the hotel or apartment for them. Time ranging from 1-6 months. You do the leg-work and receive a commission of some sort. Somewhere in this you must open a bank account or something like that. This is a scam. They have something planned and because you were the one to arrange everything, you are liable for their scam.
New (Aug 05) - New cheque cashing and deposit scams are becoming more popular. They ask for your bank account and say they will put money in it for you to transfer to someone else. Or to deposit or cash a cheque. You can keep a portion as a commission. Everything seems to be great. Then the FBI pr bank wants to know why you passed a bad cheque or transferred money that didn't really exist. YOU are liable for this money!
NEW (Mar. '05) - Scammers are now asking for your telephone number and calling you. If you check, some calls are coming from the US. I think they are getting info on you and either planning to scam you at home, or rob your house when you go visit the girl. Another report is that when you call her, there is an extra charge on the bill that they somehow get. Most girls don't give out their home phone too soon into it.
NEW (Apr. '05) - The Lithuanian apartment scam. They contact you or you contact them and they instantly want you to fly to them to meet them. You either pay for the apartment in advance and lose your money, or you get there, meet the girl, pay the apartment and then she disappears. How to spot the scam? A girl wanting you to instantly fly to her without writing a few letters is a bad sign. A girl telling you to use her contacts is a bad sign. But the easiest way to see this scam...she will want you to stay in an apartment because she doesn't want anyone seeing her visit you at your hotel and think she is a prostitute. A good reason, but it gives away these scammers.
NEW (Jan. '05) - Someone invested in a real tourist visa and is using it to scam. It looks real and the girl says that she has a few weeks left on the visa before it expires, but she needs money for the ticket...and of course, asks for your help. Wow, great opportunity, right? Yes, to steal your money. I repeat - GO TO HER COUNTRY! The visa on my homepage and Facts page is the example of a visa no longer used by US Embassies.
NEW (Jan. '05) - The new travel agency scam. Scammers are posing as travel agencies rather than dating agencies. It looks great and they can get visas and tickets for your girl. It's a scam. They are changing their names almost every week. Use the travel agents on my travel page. Don't send an unknown agency any money. ALL employees of travel agencies in Russia are women!!! Notice that the fake agencies have men as the person to send money to? You're talking to a guy!!
A new breed of scammer is going to cause problems. They let you go and visit them in their country. You have a wonderful time and arrange to meet in a 3rd country for your next meeting. After you send the money, she disappears. How can you protect against this scam? Use the travel agents on my travel page. You can send the money there and the girls can't take it.
Groups of Russians already in the US posing as girls in FSU. Letters come from FSU, through the office there. One day, the girl says she is visiting the US and wants to meet. (She has already investigated you.) Then she needs money for lawyer fees, or for a relative to visit OR...she wants to visit home with you. While you are away, your house is burglarized.
A bad scammer will ask for money after a few letters. A good scammer will wait a few months. A VERY good scammer will wait 6-12 months. Time makes no difference. ANY time they ask for money, it's bad!!
Scammers and fake agencies are using the same email servers for a time, then changing them. I guess it is easier to keep track of possible victims this way. What this means is that they will all use, for example, rbcmail.com, for a while, then change it. It has taken a long time, but I now see the pattern. Like I said, a real girl will use mail.ru, yandex.ru or rambler.ru. Other servers being used by scammers right now are gawab.com and gmail.com. (Yes, google mail. You need to be invited to get this address, so scammers are inviting themselves.)
DON'T SEND MONEY!! If you do, ask the clerk if this girl ask been sent money from other guys, they can answer this. (Read here about Western Union problems.)
Don’t think that a woman is serious because she is on an agency’s site or placed her own ad and even wrote to you. Most girls do this because they are simply curious about the result that her ad will bring. It’s always free for them, so why not try. They might like the idea of a foreign husband, but not ready to go through with it. Russian people talk a lot more than they actually do.
If a profile says absolutely nothing, or the opposite, it sounds like a long, love story, it is likely that the girl is not serious. And profiles where the girl says she's a virgin, or loves sex, again, not serious.
If she refuses to directly give you her full name, address or telephone number when you ask for it. There is no reason for her not to give it to you. And if she blames the agency for this, ask the agency. A serious girl will also want to move away from the agency.
If you get prompt, regular, long letters, it might be someone sitting on a computer all day writing letters. These girls are busy and can't write all the time, or long. You should get letters just like you get from friends. "Sorry, I can't write much, I'm busy. I'll write more in a few days." Some girls now have computers at home, but if she says she goes to an agency or cafe, but still writes every day, I would raise an eyebrow.
If she sends a photo with every letter without you asking for it and never asks for your photo. Usually, you already know what she looks like, so there's no need for her to send a photo at all. And these girls are very interested in seeing your photo. So, after exchanging photos once, the photo question is done.
If she changes her email address suddenly, this could be a negative sign. Send an introductory letter to her old address from your alias friend a couple weeks afterwards and see what happens.
Visas. It is difficult for FSU citizens to get a visa to a western country. For Europe, maybe 1 in 20 can get one. The others are flat out rejected. For North America, it’s about 1 in 100. (I’m very serious.) Anyone who says, "I’ll get a visa in a 3-6 days." is lying to you. It’s next to impossible. 3-6 days to hear that they were rejected.
People who work at the airport CANNOT get tickets at a discount. Even people who work at a travel agency don't get a discount. A taxi is any car that stops and the cost is about $2 for anywhere in the city. Maybe $5 or $10 for Moscow and Kiev. A translator should cost about $5-10 a day. Or $50 a week.
Many girls have many profiles. It's free for them, so why not do it for a better chance at meeting Mr. Right? But, if the information (name, age, city) is different, it's probably a sure sign of a scammer. There are large affiliate network of agencies. So, a girl could have a profile on each affiliate. AND...many girls are so sincere, that they have their profile removed after they start corresponding with someone special. Ask the agency why her profile was removed, the answer should help.
These girls can't afford to join a pay matchmaking site, so if you get a response to your ad on a site other than a free site, ask yourself how she has money to do this. Some girls have time and a computer at work, so they can surf and reply to (free) ads, but they usually sit back and wait for replies to their ads. Some girls do have money to join pay sites, but then she should have money to so things. NO girl asks for money!!!
Of course, letters where she doesn't answer your questions, or ask specific questions about you and your life are a sign of something not right. They want to know you before they can know if they want to be with you.
If you happen to mention to a scammer that you saw her on a blacklist (never do it) and she calmly explains to you that she had a bad experience with a guy in the past, and he put her on the blacklist; (this is what a scammer does when confronted) so, ask yourself why she knows that she is on a blacklist...and isn't worried about it. Wouldn't you be completely shocked that you were found on a blacklist and do everything you could to get your name removed from it? Scammers don't usually contact me. Stray dogs don't complain to the dog catcher.
There are cases where the woman goes along with everything right through to the marriage, and soon after, runs away. You could never protect yourself against this, but always be looking for signs before you get to that point. (Read here for help with that.)
If a girl has family already living in your country, stay away fro her. Especially if she is from Ukraine. She will use you to get there and either file for refugee status upon arrival or wait until she gets her citizenship and then leave you. These girls research this in detail and are ready to use you to their benefit.
If a girl tells you that her family has approved of her moving abroad, she is feeding you a line to relax your worried mind. Most Russians, especially older Russians and especially those in the family don't believe in leaving Russia. They are very patriotic and believe that Russians should marry Russians and live in Russia.
Avoiding Agency Scams
This is much more difficult. They are sly and constantly changing there techniques. This is the best help I can give on a list. If you have specific questions about techniques, features or agencies, just ask me. Explanation of agency networks
NEW (May '09) - Avoid ANY business proposal from ANY Russian or African. They are usually bank scams. They put money in your account and then withdraw most of it. They leave some for you. But then the bank or police come and tell you that it was fraud and you are responsible for the money.
Just because they say they are not a scam and they are honest; that doesn’t mean a thing. Some scam sites have a scammer page or warn about scammers. Don't let that fool you.
If, after a few letters from a lady, you get a letter from an agency, asking for money, forget them. They let you talk with the girl to get you hooked so you'll pay. READ!! The girls never pay to join an agency, so if you get a letter saying "the girl's account is overdue", it's a scam!! It's free for them. This is a big tactic now!! AND... Ukraine law prohibits businesses from using Western Union!! (Read here about Western Union problems.)
Be careful of special offers. (E.g. monthly translating for $100.) Not that it’s a scam, but it’s a classic technique of scamming you out of your money in one shot. Check out the "Standards" page for real costs (as well as a gift service).
Agencies use ringers. (Beautiful girls not interested in you. They are paid to have their photo on the site. Why? To get your money.) Agencies use all the photos they have. Some are years old. I can't help you with this one. Just be careful of agencies with 1,000's of photos. And, agencies with very few photos.
I just discovered a technique by these makeshift agencies with no website who advertise their girls on free sites. They take the profile off the site after they have received a number of emails for the girl. This is so that there is no record of her after you are scammed. Check for your girl's profile after a week or two.
Agencies don't want you to communicate with the girls directly (or even become a couple). Why? Because then the agency will stop receiving money. So, they tell little lies. They tell the girls that the man has many other women or isn't serious. They tell the man that the girl isn't serious or that they have other good girls for you to meet. Once you have direct contact (and get it quick), forget the agency and tell your lady not to listen to them. The agency knows nothing about you, so your lady should believe you.
Always get a full address and telephone number (and keep money transfer records) before sending money!! (Read here about Western Union problems.)
If an agency refuses to give you the full name, address and telephone number of a girl you are corresponding with. Why would they do this? It's not very ethical. I'd refuse to do business with them.
If an agency says you have to go to their country using their travel agency (which means you have to send them money.)...NO! YOU arrange your own travel. Don't send money! (Read here about Western Union problems.) Here is some tourinfo.
Agencies don’t take a girl’s photo off their site until she specifically asks them to. There could be thousands of girls that forgot they joined an agency and aren’t interested anymore, and simply don’t know their photo is still on the site. That’s why the "join date" or "last activity" features are good. Although the scam agencies lie about the join date, and they check mail every day (whereas a real girl has a life and can't check mail every day), so this applies to universal dating websites, not the actually Russian sites.
English level. Russian grades are 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Corresponding to A, B, C, D, E in the West. Almost any person can pass with flying colors and not speak a word of the language. This number means nothing! Look for "No English", "Beginner", Simple Sentences", "Proficient", "Fluent", "Bilingual". Ask the agency directly how well she speaks English. And get a plain, understandable answer. Or better yet, talk to her yourself. Call her house, not the agency.
Almost everyone goes to university and gets a degree. So, when a 21-year old girl lists her occupation as "Doctor", it means she finished medical university, but it doesn’t mean she is an actual doctor. Don’t worry about what is stated on her profile for this.
Many sites hire a professional photography to take photos for the website now. The agencies know that a good site makes money; a bad looking site doesn’t. Don’t worry about professional looking photos. But do be careful about half-nude, (swimsuit magazine) beach and photos that look like they are from a magazine. (Check out the "model" photos page.)
Some agencies plaster the girls' photo with "Married" or "Engaged". If they can change the file to say married or engaged over the photo, isn’t it even easier to simply delete the photo? So, what’s the point of not deleting it and writing married or engaged on it? Yes, it’s a marketing ploy. Reputable agencies do it for their members, and that's fine. But beware of unknown agencies that do this.
Visas. Again, it is difficult for FSU citizens to get a visa to a western country. For Europe, maybe 1 in 20 can get one. The others are flat out rejected. For North America, it’s about 1 in 100. (I’m very serious.) Any agency that says, "We’ll arrange a visa in a 3-6 days. Just send us the money." is lying to you. It’s next to impossible.
Here is an example of a sentence translated by a computer program...
"When I saw him(it), I screamed(shouted)."
The brackets offer another option for the translation. If you see this, it doesn't mean it's a scam, of course. But you should be aware that it was done by a computer and ask the person who did it "Why?". You can go to www.translate.ru and translate things yourself. Ask the agency to send it in Russian and see what happens.
Be careful of profiles where the girl says she's a virgin, loves sex, or their photo is a bikini photo, half nude or their breasts are falling out of a shirt that is too small. These girls are NOT serious.
The "seeking age". 18 year old girls who list their partner's age as 18-50. No, sorry, that's a sure sign of something suspicious. As a guide, girls look for someone 10-15 years older than themselves.
"We have a good standing with the Better Business Bureau." This means nothing. The BBB rating system is a joke! 2 complaints a year gives you an "excellent" rating. 3-5 complaints give you a "good" rating. Only Americans complain to the BBB, and very few people do this. (I forgot, the BBB erases complaints after 2 years, so you never really know how many complaints are against a company.)
Always get a full address and telephone number (and keep money transfer records) before sending money!! (Read here about Western Union problems.)