Basically, it is a scam where a lonely foreign man gets acquainted over the Internet with an attractive supposedly single female from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, etc. Quickly, the " female" the bait falls in love with her Internet acquaintance, and shortly after " she" begins to plan her travel to see her Mr. Money issues arise, and, reluctantly, the bait asks the gentleman to help "her" with money for her visa and tickets. Very often, the bait tells the guy that she has a work offer in his country, and she would be able to pay off the loaned money to him quickly.
If the guy agrees, the "lady" pretends to put all effort into making "her" travel arrangements. But the meeting continues to be delayed. Those supposed requirements usually include proof of financial independence and requirement to pay off all loans that "she" has in her name. And so " she" will reluctantly ask for financial help again. If the guy is determined to make her supposed trip happen regardless of the expenses, he sends the money again and again.
In the money keep coming, the "lady" will continue to experience difficulties. The scam will go on for as long as the guy is willing to continue sending money to help his "Russian princess" to get through her never-ending travel misadventure. The bait will keep the "flames of his love" alive by periodically chatting with him on the phone or sending him descriptions of "her" erotic fantasies. The same scam works with single Western gay man. An adorable and lonely gay guy from Russia will be the main character of the same travel story, with very minor changes.
Most scammers ask money for one or more of the following: And this mastermind is not at all who you think s he is Let's look at the scam scenario in more detail. A lot of scammers actively seek out new potential victims rather than wait for the victims to come to them. Often, scammers use big online dating web sites to approach their potential victims.
When that happens, their profiles on sites like Yahoo and Match. Many victims report that they received the first email from the scammer "out of the blue," and that they never belonged to any dating sites. If a lady from Russia contacts you first on a large dating site, or if she sends you an email out of nowhere, then your email address is probably being spammed by a Russian dating scammer.
The scammer replies positively to all of them and the process begins. Since a lot of letters need to be answered, the scammer usually does not have the ability to answer all of them individually. Therefore a standard set of romantic letters exists, and the scammer typically uses these pre-written letters to correspond with all potential victims. As a results of using the sets of pre-written letters, scammers tend to ignore questions posted to them, or when they do answer questions, they answer them only at the very beginning or at the very end of each letter.
Conveyer belt strategy versus personalized approach strategy Actually, there are two categories of Russian dating scammers: The "serial" type is a lot more common to see, not because there are more of them working, but because they approach so many different victims in a short amount of time, so it looks like there are a lot of them.
The "serial" scammers are the ones who rarely pay attention to the conversation and tend to ignore questions and send a chain of pre-written emails to hundreds of intended victims. The "personalized approach" scammers are more rare to come by — but not necessarily because there are less of them, but because their work is much less visible. But the story and the tricks are all the same as in the usual serial scams. Almost all scammers tell their victims that "this the the first time she uses the internet to get aquatinted with a man".
To speed up the process, the scammer "falls in love" with each of the potential victims literally within two to six weeks. Sometimes at the same time many scammers would announce that their yearly vacation time usually 2 weeks is coming up.
However, the duration of the "set up" phase varies significantly. Some scammers fall in love and ask for money within 10 days, while others may correspond for months before requesting any money. The duration of the phase depends on the scammer's own work style.
The longer the set up phase, the higher is the scammer's probability of success in obtaining the money. A common theme during the "set up" letters are: Lots of kisses and hugs are given at the end of each letter. Asking for money Once the fact that the scammer is "deeply in love" is well established, the scammer begins the real preparation.
The scammer will announce the good news that she found out how to obtain the visa in one of the letters shortly after explaining her undying love. She will tell that she has found out everything she needs to do to receive a tourist work, student visa. She will be all bubbly and excited about the opportunity. She will explain in detail how much it will cost to get the visa and the tickets, and how to send the necessary amount to get things going. Some scammers also ask for "hotel" money for their hotel "accommodations " in Moscow while they are filing for their visa with the US Embassy.
Some scammers offer to pay for visa themselves as a "good faith" gesture. Some scammers initially offer to pay for the tickets themselves. But then they discover that the tickets supposedly cost more than the scammer can afford, and so they ask the victim to "split" the costs of the tickets. This travel agency will supposedly handle all legal paperwork and the tickets, and now the scammer HAS to come up with the necessary amount for the tickets by a certain date - other wise the travel agency will "put her in prison" this is called "a guilt trap".
Some common themes that we see during this stage of the correspondence most scammers claim that they will be applying for a tourist visa, but other scammers specialize on pretending to be eligible for a student visa or a work visa most often, the scammer suggest going through a travel agency that can arrange everything because they "have good contacts in the Embassy". If the victim offers to buy tickets for her online, the scammer will insist on using the agency anyway most of the time, the only contact provided for the "travel agency" is their email address the scammer usually claims that the travel agency cannot accept a credit card payment.
They request cash only as their payment method, forcing the victim to use Western Union or MoneyGram transfers some scammers write that they already have a work visa to the victim's country, but lack the money for tickets some scammer can provide the victim with a phone number of some person located in the victim's own country who could confirm the girl's identity or visa eligibility At this point, some victims receive an email from the girl's "travel agent".
The email will detail the costs and the payment instructions. Usually the indication is that the visa is guaranteed. Some of those so-called "travel agencies" even have legit-looking web sites. Of course, the "agencies" are just fake web sites that will become inactive once the scam is complete.
See example Most scammers pretend that they do not know much about Western Union or MoneyGram transfers. How can you find out if the passport your lady sent to you is a fake? Also, a single young girl from ex-Soviet Union probably will not be able to obtain a US tourist visa under usual circumstances, because she is too much of a risk category for violating conditions of her visa and staying in the USA after her visa has expired.
UK and Australian tourist visas are not easy to obtain either for the same reasons. Please contact your Embassy with questions about visa requirements. The scammer suggests to the victim that she would mail the checks to him, he would cash it for her and send the money back to her via Western Union. If the victim complies, the checks will bounce, but the scammer will be long-gone with the money from western Union transfer.
Alternatively, the scammer may suggest that you give her your credit card information, and she will arrange money to be transferred to your credit card. DO NOT give her any credit card or bank account information!!! If the victim is still hesitant to send money, the scammers will utilize every possible emotional button that they can press. They will appeal to his guilt, his emotions, his pride, his supposed gender role, etc. After investing much time and effort into the correspondence, the scammers do not like to see their efforts fail.
Even after being told "so" several times, they can linger for many weeks, writing brief letters full of "love" and hope. If the victim attempts to call an airline to confirm the reservations, he will probably find out that the reservations have indeed been made. The trick is in the refundable nature of the tickets. The scammers order refundable air tickets, allow the victim to confirm the flight information, and then cancel the tickets at the last moment and receive a full refund.
Some scammers will also send a scanned picture of their "visa" or "tickets". Those documents, just like the scammer's supposed passport, are just computer-altered images. At this phase of the scam, a lot of victims receive numerous phone calls from the scammers. Usually the scammer makes the calls. The victim either does not have a phone number to call, or the phone number is constantly turned off.
Milking the victim for money for as long as possible Once the tickets and the visa are bought, the scammer will wait for a few days. During that time "she" will tell the victim more and more about her supposed love, her obsession with their first meeting and her plans to marry him. But after a few days of joy and excitement the scammer will bring some "bad news". She will find out that she would need a pocket money so-called "financial solvency requirements" to be able to enter the country!
Of course, the scammer "did not count" on this expense, so the joyful mood is quickly changes to one of desperation and sadness. The scammer turns, once again, to the guy for financial help, promising him that the "pocket money" money will only be needed to go through the airport, and once they meet, she would return that money to him right away.
The victim, who already paid once, is likely to agree to help with the solvency money as well. If the "tickets" and the "solvency money" are sent by the victim, the scammer will most likely to try to continue "milking" the victim for additional amounts. For example, she can present the following claims to her financial knight on the white horse: If the girl got hit by a car or beaten up by the bad street people, the girl's " relative," "friend," or even her "doctor" will write to the victim explaining "the tragedy" that happened, the extent of the girl's injuries, and the costs of the treatment.
The victim may even send some money for hospital bills. They will provide him with any kind of "documents" that he requests: Since the victim does not know how a real Russian documents look like, he is not likely to be able to detect the flaws in those "documents.
Such an item can be a sign with his name on it, his picture, or his email. Fake "I Owe You" document Fake bank account statement.