There are many variations of online dating scams originating in Russia and Eastern Europe but they have in common a high emotional and financial cost to unsuspecting scam victims. Typically, a man comes into contact with a scammer through an online dating agency. The General Scam Pattern In the first few letters the scammer will say what a good woman she is and how hard life is in Russia.
Her monthly salary is only a few hundred dollars, all Russian men are drunks and maybe her family died in a tragic accident or they are ill and in need of surgery. Heart strings are pulled and victims are sucked in. At this point she will set the victim up as her knight in shining armor, the only one who can help her. She might just need money to pay her bills but will probably want desperately to come and visit him in his Western nation.
She professes her love and gives instructions to send money through Western Union or MoneyGram. This is a broad example of Russian online dating scams. The period from first contact to first cash request could be a few days or a few months but regardless how long you've "known" the person, a request for money is a scam.
Scammers operate from countries with low per capita income and even if a scam takes months to pay out it is worthwhile for them, even for just a few hundred dollars. Scammers use services like Western Union because it is all but impossible to track the recipient of the money which can be picked up anywhere in the world. A scammer could be a man or woman operating solo, posing as an attractive young lady, or part of an organized scamming operation.
Such operations have been known to hire young Russian women to act as the voice on the other end of that romantic phone call. This ploy also relies on the stereotypical assumption that all Russian and Eastern European women want to move to or visit America, Canada, the UK or Australia which simply isn't the case. This is likely to be a scan of a fake or fabricated visa. Just when you think everything is going smoothly, there is a last minute problem and they will request you to urgently send them some money, without which it will be impossible for them to make their trip.
Sometimes, they will even cite certain immigration requirements to sound more convincing. But rest assured, once you send that money that is the last you will hear from her. If you are seeing a Russian woman and are keen on meeting her, it is always wiser for you to go visit them instead of inviting them to visit you. This way you can avoid losing money through a scam and a traditional Russian woman would probably prefer it if the man made the effort to come visit her.
Translation Scams This is another common scam used by Russian scammers. A Russian woman will start interacting you but tell you she cannot speak or understand English.
After some time, she will tell you she cannot continue communicating with you as she cannot afford to pay for the translation service anymore. At this point, they either expect you to offer to pay for the service or even ask you if you will be willing to pay for the service so you can continue your relationship.
This is a scam and you should never send money for it! Fake Marriage Agency Scams There are several fake website masquerading as Russian marriage agencies promising to bring Western men and Russian women together. While most Russian dating websites are genuine, a number of them are fake and their so-called members are not real either.
They will ask you for large amounts of money, promising to set you up with a beautiful Russian women but your money is as good as gone because the agency is a scam. Choose a reputable dating service or agency in order to avoid being scammed this way. The photos are stunning, perhaps professionally taken or provocative, but the description of what she's looking for in a partner is vague. It could be a scammer, often a man, using photos downloaded from the internet in the hope of sucking in as many victims as possible.
She writes gushing, emotive emails but do your questions often go unanswered? Does it seem like she's not reading your letters? It could be a scammer using template emails sent to dozens of men. Love is, generally, an acquired feeling but someone you've never met claims to have given her whole heart to you.
It could be a scammer setting you up for the big hit. The scammer comes to the crunch, requesting a sum of cash. The reason could be unpaid household bills or emergency surgery for a family member but it is most likely to be travel and visa expenses. Don't bother booking a welcome dinner, you're being scammed.