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3) Scenarios

  1. A) The scenario of "Internet expenses" she asks you for money to pay for her Internet subscription in order to correspond by e-mail with you.

You enter into correspondence over the Internet with a beautiful Russian girl. After a few emails exchange your feelings grow and you reveal your personality and your expectations. The girl writes wonderful letters, open and detailed, and seems very interested by your profile. You talk to her about things you've never talked with anyone before. She is understanding, gentle and caring.

After a few weeks you expect her emails with impatience.

Suddenly, without warning, the girl informs you that she wrote her last email to you: her Internet package is expiring and her provider threatens to cut her connection. She can no longer pay for it and is suddenly facing an unexpected expense (her mother is urgently hospitalized for example): if she does not pay her Internet subscription within 2 days she will not be able to communicate with you any more.

She asks you a sum ranging from a few tens of dollars to a few hundred dollars. This amount must be transferred to her urgently and at once: if you pay the requested money the girl suddenly disappears.

If you hesitate, as the days pass she will tell you she borrowed money from someone (of course because she likes you so much, but she also must take care of her mother and that’s why she is ready to sell her apartment to pay her mother’s hospital bills) but at very high rates: If you decide to send her money, the girl disappears once the money transfer is complete.

My tips

Obviously it is much easier to form a relationship with a Russian woman by e-mail rather than by mail. Letters take several weeks to arrive in Russia, if they are not lost or stolen.

Scammers are fully aware of the advantages of using e-mail and they know that they can benefit from anonymity on the Internet. The first thing to do is to ask on the first e-mail exchange with the woman for her mailing address and phone number. This is a basic rule that must be followed if you want to avoid scammers. You can make this request prominently down your first email (postscript): in this way the girl does not forget to give you her contact details in her second email. You can write:

"Here's my address and phone number, and you can see that I'm real! I hope you also send me your details because if something happens to you I would know where to find you."

It is also a good idea to ask the girl where she lives (and if she lives with her parents, grandparents etc ...) and if she is tenant or owner. It is important for you to understand that the postal address she will give to you can perhaps not be her "official address", for the simple reason that in Russia a person who rents an apartment might not put the apartment as her official address: the owner who rents the apartment might not want to pay taxes to the state and therefore does not declare the transaction: the tenant is obliged to indicate as well as the official address of her parents or grandparents' apartment, where she does not resides of course.

In Russia many apartments still belong to the state. During the communist era, people could not own their apartment and the state apartments were assigned based on a waiting list provided by state enterprises: the waiting period was based on the field in which people worked: on average 3 years for home builders to 15 years if they worked in a school.

The apartment was awarded in return for a very low rent (0.5% of monthly income, even if the income was very low) nobody could evict the tenant, not even the state. It was possible to register close family members at this address if health conditions allowed it (depending on the number of persons per square meter). Having an address "officially recognized by the state" ("propiska" in Russian) is very important in Russia: without it you cannot find a job, study or do anything: it is also a means used to control citizens.

When the person officially declared this apartment dies then close relatives who live there "inherit" the place. If the person was living alone then the state recovers the apartment. That is why grandparents say their grandchildren live with them (even if this is not the case) so they can "inherit" when the grandparents die.

Although many apartments are currently privatized, people prefer to keep a state apartment as their official address because it is less expensive in terms of taxes. Also if a person gives you the apartment in which he lives you will not have to pay taxes on inheritance, and these taxes are very high in Russia. This is why currently many people have the official residence address of their grandparents but do not want to live with them and instead rent an apartment where they cannot register their address.

 So in short you have to ask the address where she resides and if this is the official address and telephone number. If she refuses to give you her contact, insist more firmly: if she persists in refusing forget her immediately.

Once you have her contact information you need to use them !! And the sooner the better. Send her a real letter by Chronopost, DHL, FEDEX or UPS. Do not forget to include an envelope with your postal address and a prepaid voucher for the international response from your correspondent.

Sending a real letter has many advantages:

- You will know if the postal address of the girl is correct.

- The girl will receive a real letter from you and will appreciate the attention you pay to her, which will make a difference when compared to other men with whom she is in contact.

- If the letter is undelivered you will know that there is a problem.

Returning to the main point, I promised to explain how to form a relationship with a Russian girl without sending her money directly, without her making too many personal expenses.

First you need to ask the girl how she has Internet access and how much she pays for it: her answer will be a proof of her sincerity. Here are the actual prices:

- Send and receive emails at a cybercafé: 3-5 euros an hour

- Send a letter by e-mail through an agency: 1-4 euros by Page (included typing the letter)

- To receive a letter by e-mail: 1-4 euros by Page (included printing of the letter)

- Translation of a letter: 1-3 euros per page.

If the girl has a computer at home do not believe that she pays 200 euros a month to her provider.

There are in fact many kinds of Internet subscription in Eastern Europe, the cheapest being at 15-25 euros per month. It is also possible to buy prepaid cards available in post offices that enable access to the Internet for a few hours and do not cost more than a cyber cafe.

The most interesting is if the girl has Internet access at her place of work.

If the girl does not have free access to the Internet you have to help her. With an average salary in Eastern Europe she can often not afford it.

The solution is to use a third party to correspond with her: you need to find a dating agency located in the same city as her. Of course this girl should no be registered in this agency in order to be sure that this is not a scam. Your emails should be printed by the agency who call your correspondent by phone to ask her to come to the agency and retrieve her mail in person. You can later ask to the head of the agency to confide to you his impressions about your correspondent: was happy to receive the letter? Does she really looks like the photos she sent you? etc ...

To find a marriage agency in the city of your corresponding you can use the google search engine that gives in my opinion the most relevant answers: type "marriage agency + (the name of the city where they live)" and you will generally find some answers.

Take precautions against the agency that you will contact to avoid being cheated by a dishonest agency! Here are some tips:

- On the agency's website (under "contact us" or "feedback") you should find their address, telephone number and fax number. If you only find their e-mail address, avoid this agency.

- Call them and ask them a few questions: is there anyone who picks up the phone or do you only reach an answering machine? (If this is the case, drop it and try another agency); do they respond quickly if at all? Are they really trying to help you? Do you think they will react quickly in the event you ask them for help? If they do not ask you any questions, it simply means that they are not interested in their customers and they will not be helpful in case of problems.

- See if you can find the name of the director of the agency (page "about us") on the site.

- The site must also have its own domain name like www.agency.com kind and not www.agency.narod.ru: it should not be a domain name in the name of the agency and the .ru .com, .net etc ... if it means that the site is on a free server where anyone can install a site, so be extremely careful when local websites are hosted on free servers !! If the site has a style name www.somename.com/clients/~agency it also means that this is an anonymous free hosting site.

- Make sure you can pay by credit card rather than bank transfer or Western Union transfer. If the agency is serious it will have the option to pay online by credit card because it is not easy to get a merchant account with a bank. Paying by credit card is your safest way to protect yourself from scammers according to the office of the FBI Internet complaints (www.ifccfbi.gov): If you are scammed, it will be possible to file a complaint with your bank to cancel the payment. If you have doubts you can also use payment cards specially dedicated to the Internet. If the only way to pay the agency is a money transfer through Western Union (or MoneyGram depending on the case) then select another agency because you may have no recourse in case of scam.

If the girl has a home computer, then send money (10 euros is usually enough) by Western Union to the local agency and ask them to buy the girl one or two prepaid cards.

If you are satisfied with the services of the agency and your correspondent can send you emails regularly then you have found the solution: you are not sending money directly to the girl and she does not pay to communicate with you: if she writes, it means she's really attached to you and is serious in her intentions.

Various problems:

- The woman says she has no telephone: this may be true; in Europe's eastern cities of small size only half of the families have a telephone, and even in Moscow some homes are not connected to the telephone network. But if your correspondent works then she must has a phone on her workplace or she can be reached!! If it is a problem to have a stranger who does not speak Russian call at her place of work (that is understandable: her boss or co-workers could reprimand her if they heard her speak in English with you) you possibly can make calls to a translator. The translator will call your correspondent first and you then get into a "conference call" (see options on your service provider: this only costs 2 or 3 euros per month). If she is a student then she probably knows friends who have a telephone and who could "help". If she has no telephone, she does not work, or if she is not a student, and none of her friends (or family member) have a phone then it should seem very suspicious to you. Even if you ask her to call you in PCV (complicated procedure from Russia: she must call a special number and then dial the number of a prepaid card etc ...) to check if she is real you should know that it proves nothing: anyone can call you ...

- She says she cannot talk because of the language barrier: answer you are going to speak very slowly or you will use the services of a translator through a telephone conference system.

- She says it's useless if she gives you her phone number because she's never at home: very bad sign!! You must know that in Russia the jobs that require frequent travel are generally (ie 99%!) given to men simply for safety reasons. Believe it or not but the fact is a woman from Eastern Europe takes big risks by traveling from town to town and sleeping alone in hotels. It is becoming much more economical for a company, given the size of Russia, to have local agents than employ traveling sales agents.

- She can only be reached specific times: it means she does not live there; she possibly lives with her fiancé and only uses the apartment to make her scams credible. If you cannot reach your correspondent by phone unexpectedly this means that there is a problem.

- Her mailbox was broken into or stolen: this is possible. Tell her that you are going to surprise her and whether or not she has a mailbox does not matter. Give the impression that you are going to send her a gift but do not directly say it. Ask for her official address of residence instead.

- She tells you that the cost will be much cheaper if you send her the money for the internet rather than sending it through a third party agency: it's true but remember what I told you: the purpose of going through a third party agency is to eliminate money problems in your relationship in order to avoid possible scams.

- The lady gives you an address mentioning the words "PO Box": it is simply a post office box and not a personal address: be very careful because the lady can disappear without a trace.

- Pictures sent by the lady have a truly professional look and the lady looks like a Top Model: wouldn’t you be surprised to learn that she really is one !! Many scammers do not bother precautions and copy the photos published in fashion magazines!!

- She sends in each message one or more sexy pictures of her, an effective method for men who are more concerned with physical appearance, and have not contacted the lady because she stated in her profile she loves cakes and read Dostoyevsky. Remember that a Russian lady does not generally have the financial ability to develop multiple photos and then pay to have them scanned. Scammers do !! They usually have dozens of pictures of the same girl at their disposal and are ready to send them to you one after the other.

Once the problem of Internet charges has been resolved, another hook waits to catch you, this one enormous: costs related to a visa and plane ticket. Because after a few exchanged emails you will want to move from a virtual relationship to meeting in person!! We will now study the case of the most common scam because it is the most profitable for scammers of all stripes: the “journey” scenario.

  1. B) The “voyage” scenario: She wants to meet you in your country and asks you for money to pay for her visa and plane ticket.

This is the most common scenario in terms of scam: you come in contact with a young Russian woman through a free dating site where you purchased the email address. If the contact is going well between you and you seem to develop feelings for her. The young woman, from the second or third e-mail, brings up computer problems with her computer or Internet service provider and asks you to contact her at another email address. In truth there is no problem, this is a con trick to "organize" her contacts: she gives an email address to target men who have "taken the bait" using her pre-written letters in order to avoid mistakes. A scammer will contact hundreds of men every day to increase the rate of 'success' and must therefore necessarily sort contacts.

You find your correspondent is not only beautiful but also extremely kind and generous. She quickly falls in love with you, she finds you so different from the men of her country, who seem cruel to her, infidels, alcoholics, who are only interested in sex and not in love ... she tells you that she has never met a man so attentive and understanding. Fate has put you in contact with each other, you are made for each other. She tells you that she wants to meet you in person and spend the rest of her life with you.

You're a little surprised at the speed with which the girl fell in love with you, but the fact that a beautiful girl is in love with you somewhat flatters your ego. You enjoy it even if you're not sure of the truth of her love. You're not ready to make a long journey to meet her but she is keen to come to your country so ... why not? It ultimately seems like a good idea to invite a pretty girl to your country.

She writes that she can receive the visa with the help of a travel agency (several variants exist: a family member works in the embassy and can help her, she can use a student visa under a cultural exchange program, she works at a travel agency, etc ...): she asks you for between 300 and 600 euros to obtain this visa. This is not a lot of money to finally meet the woman of your dreams!! You hesitate a bit but finally decide to transfer the money via Western Union.

A tip: if she says that one of her family member works in the embassy and can easily get a visa (if you send her money) then tell her you need his number phone at his place of work to speak directly with him, I'm sure she will tell you that you should not call him at the risk of ruining everything; this will be the only truth she speaks, you will indeed find that this story is bogus and you will ruin her hopes of scamming you!!

Once she has received the money for the visa, she will ask you to send money to pay for the ticket. She tells you that she has a friend or family member working in an airline (variants: an airport or a travel agency) and you have to transfer between 700 and 1200 euros.

This might seem a little expensive, but you tell yourself it would be stupid to stop spending now since you have already paid her a visa: you transfer the amount requested. Now two possibilities exist: either the scammer disappears without a trace, or, if she is really bold, she will attempt a "hat trick"; let’s detail this second possibility.

"The hat-trick"

You know that your correspondent has what she neds to come visit you: visa, plane tickets ... everything is fine, and there is still a surprise! she tells you that she needs additional money transfer! she asks you for money in order to go through customs because she said a new law was recently established to fight against the Mafia, disorders and to protect people: every Russian wishing to travel to the West with a tourist visa must have a sum of cash for income security when passing customs: according to her she needs a sum equivalent to 100 euros per day of travel in USA or Europe. If she comes for 2 weeks, this is 1500 euros! For a con it’s the icing on the cake if you pay. The scammer will have achieved what scammers call a "Hat trick"; in soccer this term is used when one player succeeds in placing three goals in a game. The 3 goals here in this case means for the scammer to receive three money transfers through Western Union: visa, airfare, and the infamous money needed to clear customs.

It is true that travelers must hold on for some time a sum in cash of money to get through customs, but this amount is equivalent to 50 euros (not 100 euros) per day of presence in foreign country.

Once this third money transfer is done she suddenly disappears.

New! The fourth phase of the scam travel expenses: aggression!

She gets attacked by bandits shortly after removing the money you have sent for the resource guarantee and they steal the money!

This is a new strategy crooks use to extract even more money: your love collapsed, she is in a terrible psychological situation ... and of course financial! She therefore asks you to send her the sum for the income guarantee. It's a way for scammers to "double hit" with the same scenario. Tell her simply that you contacted the Embassy of your country in Russia and that she must go there to have her problems resolved, you will see the demise of your beloved will be even faster than that of your bank account in this scam.

Some scammers have realized that they can get more money with the 3rd step (income guarantee) and the possibility of double blow with the scenario of the attack mentioned above than with the first (visa and passport fees) and the second (air ticket) so they invented a new more subtle version of: your girlfriend tells you that she herself has paid for the visa and plane ticket. She prepared her bags and even has a small gift that her mother would like to give you (these are such small insignificant details that make mails scammers credible and soften the gentlemen). She tells you the hours of departure and arrival (they are real because the scammers are becoming more rigorous and structured) of her plane. You think you found a true gem, and you think she is honest because she did not ask money contrary to what it is written in this guide.

But then, surprise! Two days before her arrival in France, you receive an email in which she tells you she was just devastated to learn that she would be stuck at customs, as she must show her resources guarantees (either she was not aware of needing it or she has spent all her savings to buy a visa and plane ticket) and begs you to send her the corresponding amount (she asks you 100 euros per day of presence spent in your country) or she will be reimbursed her ticket and will lose 20% of its value; it is a clever way of putting pressure on the man to extract money from him. Once the money is transferred to her you'll have no news from your sweetheart.

Recently some scammers, just after receiving the money for the visa, airfare and resource guarantees evoke drug costs for "climate adaptation" because of the drugs she has to take to move from cold countries to hotter countries. The old cliché of Russians necessarily coming from a much colder region than in Europe or USA still has a bright future ahead of it. So you know, when I tell new acquaintances that I come from the south of Ukraine (same latitude as Marseille) many people say to me: "you will suffer from heat in France since you come from a very cold country!" !

There are different "versions" of the scam travel expenses:

- she only needs 50% of the ticket planes price: the Russian girl asks for help to pay half the price of the ticket (her father is paying for the other half), then once the money is received she requests  that you send the other half under the pretext that her father refused to pay because he does not want his daughter to meet you after hearing stories (for example) about abductions of young girls in your area!

- The "African" version of the scam travel expenses. This type of scenario is quite rare because it relies on cooperation between crooks from Eastern Europe and Africa. You are in contact for several weeks with a charming girl from Eastern Europe. Your correspondent is traveling for a financial evaluation of an NGO in Ivory Coast and informs you that on the return she will pass through Paris: she asks you to pick her up at the airport. From the Ivory Coast she sends you emails. You are sure to verify the origin of emails and if they come from the country she says she is in (the scammer's accomplice lives in Africa), so everything is fine, you do not worry. But then she says that she thinks she bought airplane ticket from a false travel agency because once at the airport in Africa local authority say to her that her airplane ticket is not valid; she is in the airport with other foreigners in the same situation as her. For security reasons, police took their fake return ticket. Then after a little “investigation” she announces that a crook runs the travel agency and that she will use the services of another travel agency; she asks you to provide up to 200 or 300 euros to finance her return to Paris. She collects the money and disappears.

- The "medical" Version: your correspondent is a doctor and must stay in France for 1 year as part of an exchange program between doctors of France and Russia. She wants to benefit from this trip, hoping to eventually get married and continue her career in France. She tells you that after several weeks of correspondence that the head of her Russian hospital that deals with the exchange program takes care of passport, visa and contracts with French hospitals but funding for travel is not covered. Her hospital actually refuses to fund the trip because the Russian state does not provide financial assistance in the exchange program because financial assistance is going to areas affected by avian influenza in Russia. She therefore asks you to send money to finance the trip. It's a tight scam.

- The version of the Russian woman living in the US or in Europe:  a fairly uncommon but growing scenario: you are contacted via a dating site by a lovely Russian girl who claims to have lived in the US for years, and begins to email for several weeks with you. She even gives you a phone number in the US, but you always get her answering machine (she claims to have a lot of work right now and can not often be reached on her phone. She sends dozens of photos of herself, but they are always indoor pictures in her apartment and never outdoor photos (to avoid compromising photos that may betray the fact that she lives actually in Russia). She sent you copies of her American passport. Why do scammers use this scenario? They use it to lull unsuspecting gentlemen who will have more confidence in a Russian girl said to live in the USA rather than in Russia. They will think that since she has work in the USA, she has no reason to want to rip someone off. They see the situation differently from that of an encounter with a young girl living in Eastern Europe.

Once the trust established between the two parties the trap is set up: she says that she needs to go to Russia to go to the wedding of one of her best friend, to visit her parents and her friends in Russia and her because her boss in New York has granted her a 30-day leave. After ten days in Russia, the wedding went well and that gives her ideas. She talks to her parents of her "virtual" relationship with you and as she still has 20 days of vacation she asks to come see you in your country. She is 30 years old, "the clock is ticking" for her and so her parents encouraged her to come to see you. So she makes big decision to meet with you: she sends you an email to even give you the aircraft arrival time. She will give you a real flight number (if you check the flight number you will see that it really exists !! Scammers like this begin to be very "pro" in their approach). The next day you will receive an email from her gravely saying (the scam is taking place) that there is a new law saying that Russians must submit to customs 50 euros per day of presence in Europe. And so her visa is ok, she has her ticket, but now lacks 650 euros to come to see the man in her life. But as this is money that you must have it in cash she will need it at the airport. If you hesitate to send 650 euros then she will tell you that her parents could pay 240 euros and thus you only have three days to send the remaining 410 euros. Of course EVERYTHING is fake !! The US phone number is one of an accomplice living in the US, the pictures are not her, the passport is a fake.

- The scenario of the conned / con: what’s that? It’s very simple: you invite your correspondent to join you in France, you pay her airfare and visa but bad luck her visa is refused for X reasons in Moscow. She then requires you to pay for her Moscow living expenses (hotel, restaurant) to obtain this visa. If you do not act quickly enough, the scammer threatens to expose you to the Russian police as a scammer! The world has turned upside down! Some gentlemen fear to have legal troubles and send the amount requested. Do not laugh, this problem has happened to several gentlemen in recent months. The more outrageous or incredible a scam the better it works.

My advice:

I understand that it would be easier for you to invite her to your home; it is very tempting to imagine this beautiful girl in your bachelor pad, especially when she wrote that she can not wait to feel your hands on her soft skin and hear the beating of your heart ... but this is not at all the right way to avoid scams.

The scenario of the "journey" (the lady wants to meet you after a few exchanges of mail) is a classic method used to create a sense of urgency: remember that time is the enemy of the fraudster, unlike the serious ladies who do decide to meet you after careful consideration (especially when you are the one making the trip) the sense of urgency created by the fraudster can be compared to the fox setting fire to the barn. Tip: Always take your time and do not be in a hurry in your correspondence: the fraudster will tire out and attempt to lure another man.

You first need to know that most administrative formalities for a beautiful girl who wants to go to the West are quite long and complex: she must go to Moscow to get the visa, and she will have to travel there if she does not live in the capital. She will have to gather a lot of paperwork and then spend hours and hours in queue in foreign embassy: it is likely that she will stay in Moscow at least two days to complete all the formalities. Knowing that somehow she will have to pass through there one day again if you want to get married to her, she wants avoid suffering that ordeal more than necessary.

It is more a question here of a sum of money of about 1000 euros to cover the cost of visa and plane ticket: you do not want to risk losing that kind of money, right?

It is still possible for you to pay for the airfare (taking care to include a clause for repayment in case of cancellation of the trip) for the girl and put it at her disposal in a tourism agency in Eastern Europe. But you should not pay the visa yourself, as you run the risk of being scammed.

If you want to provide your beautiful love with an electronic ticket (non-exchangeable and reimbursed by your correspondent if she does not use it) to avoid sending her money she might say that a new Russian law prohibits the use of electronic tickets purchased abroad and obliges Russia to buy their flights locally, with the aim of promoting trade in Russia (sic). This law don’t exist. In the same manner, she might tell you that Russian citizens have to show their solvency to Russian authorities and must buy the ticket themselves in Russia; this is totally false.

You can possibly avoid the cost of visas by organizing a romantic encounter in a third country such as Cyprus, Turkey etc. But I will tell you one thing: some girls from Eastern Europe can not afford to travel and it is possible that your correspondent will accept your offer of holiday with no real intention of wanting to get married one day with you. I know some beautiful Russian girls (of course included in my blacklist) within some dating agencies, who are real, have a real address and a real phone number, and are in contact with Western men to get free travel around the world (see information about “gold-digger!").

If you want to "test" your correspondent, you can tell her that for the visa you will not need to send money because you know a counselor at the Russian Embassy in France (one of your father's friends) and you will have all the documents very quickly for a period of three months or more because the adviser could help you; what a bargain for this girl wishing to live her dream with a European!!!

If your correspondent is a scam you'll hear nothing else from girl. Here is a pre-written letter in English (English you can correct depending on your language level, so that there is no big gap between this translation letter and the rest of your mail) to send about it. This letter clearly shows that you are very smart and can meet her "without spending a penny" because of your connections. Scammers will be discouraged to see that you think twice before sending money. They will also be "taken aback" by the response to their request for money for the visa and prefer to find a man easier to dupe.

"Hello my love,

 

I have very good news for you and for us!!!

 

I met a man who works in the Russian embassy today.

He told me that the documents would be free because he was a friend of my father and he will do the paperwork for your visa and all the documents for you to get out of Russia.

This visa will be valid for 3 months, and you'll be able to stay here as long as you want because he can do something to lengthen the duration of the visa.

Don't worry about your work because he 'll call your boss where you work to explain the situation and he said to me when a member of the Russian embassy explains something to a citizen of Russia, he must understand because...

He asked me the name of your factory and the address where you work and the phone of the big boss, your address where you live and your official address. He explained a lot of things with the address, with the tenant and the proprietor, the taxes,... how complicated, but forgive me, you know certainly more than me!

I have a letter to invite you here, it's necessary and he told me that the embassy in Moscow would contact you by letter from the administration of your city to complete the information in the documents.

You won’t need to go to Moscow (indicate the city where she needs to go if it’s not Moscow) and wait for a long time to have your documents and lose a few days in this country.

He said to me that you'll be considered as a privilege member of government, he told me that's an honor in Russia to have this consideration from authority!!! "

 

If your correspondent is nevertheless interested you just have to explain a few days later that a last-minute problem prevented your friend working at the embassy to get the visa. To comfort her, tell her that you will travel to meet her! Her reaction to this new "twist" (you will not send her any money for the plane ticket because it is you who are traveling) is a second test for her honesty.

The solution is simply to visit your lady in her country !! This way you do not have to transfer money to her. No money = no scam.

But be on your guard if the girl insists that the meeting be held in a city other than her own: she can justify this by the fact that there is no easy way to access to her city by bus or train, or she will tell you that she is embarrassed for you to visit her town because it is too small, boring, and dirty; she might also tell you that her apartment is too small and poorly arranged etc ... tell her that it does not matter to you and you make this trip to meet her and nothing else. Tell her you want to see her family. If after that she continues to insist heavily on meeting you in another city than her own then something is "wrong": that means maybe she already has a boyfriend (or husband!)  and she is afraid that he may see you together. You have to decide if you trust her enough to take this (big) risk.

Recently some scammers have used a more subtle scenario to get money from unsuspecting gentlemen: it's sort of the “low-cost” scenario, to extract some little tickets to the men on guard (in a time of purchasing power at half no small profits, the crisis also affects the crooks who know best adapt to the international environment). Your correspondent finally accepts that you will visit her in her country but for reasons of facilities it requires that you meet in a major Russian city (Moscow, St. Petersburg, for example) ... obviously far from her village. So you send her a few hundred dollars for her to go by air (economy class aboard the cheapest airline) to this great city.

Of course she will ask you for money to spend one or two nights in a hotel before your arrival, the offset between her arrival in the big city and yours. You say that really she has not asked you for a lot of money (600-800 euros in total) and finally that if she agreed to see you in her country it is "serious". Your plane lands, you enter the airport your bouquet of flowers in hand ... and then of course: nobody! It's called a moment of solitude: believe me over the last few years with these fake profiles of Russian women thousands of gentlemen from around the world are waiting in Russian airports for hours with a bouquet of flowers in hand ... in vain!

WATCH OUT! To discourage you to follow the sacrosanct rule of anti-scam (which means you are the one traveling in order to avoid sending money) your correspondent / scammer may claim a "family practice" to discourage you to visit her and convince you to send money to whether she go your way: your sweetheart might inform you suddenly of a terrible news when you do s your desire to go to meet in her country. She will write that when she saw her mother to happily announce that you are going to visit her, her mother was suddenly very angry and told her an ancient Russian custom: it is the girl, not the young man who has to move first to get to know her future in-laws !! She will explain that it is a Russian custom she didn’t know about but that must still comply absolutely because her grandparents were very religious and deeply attached to the Slavic traditions: they will look badly on their little girl making an exception to this "rule". In short all her family is against your coming in Eastern Europe. She forbids you to come and visit her so you have to send money to her so she can buy the plane ticket !! Of course this tradition does not exist in Eastern Europe, it's just an excuse to discourage you from visiting her in order to extort more money for you to pay for the so-called airline tickets.

But even if you decide to visit her there is yet another possibility for a potential scammer to make you transfer money to her: this is the scenario of renting the apartment for your accommodation in Eastern Europe.

 

  1. C) The “apartment” scenario: she offers to rent for an apartment (cheaper than a hotel in Russia) and asks for money to pay the rent.

You correspond with a young Russian woman and you develop strong feelings for her. After a few months of correspondence you decide to visit her. For your satisfaction she offers to take charge of the organization of your visit, namely renting an apartment with a nice room with a double bed, for only 50 euros, which is small compared to the 120 weekly euros requested by the western most hotels in Eastern Europe. You will be able to cook in the kitchen (you'll save on restaurants fees) and will have complete privacy.

You tell yourself you need a booking confirmation with a hotel or a certificate of accommodation at her home in order to get the "tourist voucher" required to obtain a visa tourist from the Russian Embassy. And as the girl said she was living with her parents (or grandparents) the idea of renting an apartment seems sensible, especially as the temptation to use the double bed in the apartment for anything other than a good night's sleep does not leave you indifferent, far from it ... and the sincere desire of the girl to take care of the organization of your stay is so touching !!

Of course, as the contact has been going smoothly (by e-mail) and your feelings for each other have quickly grown you didn’t think it necessary to ask the girl her postal address or telephone number.

You transfer the money for the apartment rental: the girl suddenly disappears without a trace. You do not want to believe in a scam. You are very concerned for the girl and decide to go to the city where she is supposed to live: but where to look? You do not have the slightest clue except some pictures and email address probably destroyed as soon as the transaction.

 My tips

 The solution is to go through a local travel agency: You'll have no need to transfer money to your correspondent. No money = no scam.

 Now you are saying that after having read the first three scenarios you will avoid scams: make no mistake! Scammers never lack imagination and still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Recap:

- You asked for the address of your correspondent and her telephone number: the information is true, you have checked everything.

- You found and used an honest local dating agency to serve as an intermediary in the email correspondence: you contacted the agency staff who have seen her in person, to ask them their thoughts on your "sweetheart,” and they say that physically she corresponds to the photos she sent to you.

- The girl is delighted that you were going to visit her in her country and let you to book a hotel or an apartment.

You say that it cannot be a scam because everything is real, you have taken care to control everything. You are happy, you trust this young Russian woman and your feelings have grown quickly ... your mistrust is almost reduced to zero and you have been guided by your instincts. You are in love; that's it, you just take the bait. We can study the following scenario: she falls madly in love with another man at the last minute (just before you take the plane to go see her)!

Do not hesitate to contact us:

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