(by Marina Fedorova)
Introduction, principle, mechanism | Scenarios A - C | Scenarios D - J | How to protect yourself, what to do?
4) How to protect yourself from scammers?
The best way to avoid scams is to make your correspondent understand that you will never send her money, right from the second or third letter. If your correspondent is a scammer then she will disappear as soon as she understands that she cannot get anything from you. This method will save you time, money, and you will avoid many disappointments in love. You will keep your energy to build a relationship with a true, honest Russian woman.
Two options are available: adopt a direct or indirect style (if you are afraid of upsetting).
1) Direct Style
You can adopt a firm tone by writing for example that "honest agencies say that you should never send money to your correspondent; I read this notice so many times that I decided to follow that advice."
You can be as upfront as writing: "I read on the internet a lot of wonderful things about the personality of Russian women and their qualities, but I have also learned that some European women are only interested in money. What I've concluded about these stories is that an honest Russian woman will never ask for money. I want nevertheless find the woman of my life in your wonderful country, and I know that there are many sincere and honest Russian women who want to love and be loved, just like me ... ": writing this your correspondent does not feel that you suspect her of being a potential scammer and will not feel concerned by your remarks if she is honest (many Russian women do not know that there are scams in the world of international dating !! ). If, to the contrary, this is a scam she will understand the message and disappear.
Whatever style you adopt you have to make your correspondent understand several things, such as:
- You are not a "beginner" in the world of internet relationships.
- You spend a lot of time collecting information on the subject of dating Russian women through the Internet.
- You know that there are scams in the world of international dating.
- You know that you should never send money to your correspondent.
If unfortunately you have been scammed please do not mention it: if it's a good woman she will think that you are too naive and will stop corresponding with you, and if she is a scammer she will think that if you have been trapped once then she can also take her chance to scam you by using a more subtle scenario.
2) Indirect Style
If you are afraid of upsetting your correspondent you can be more "diplomatic" and act in two stages:
- You are serious in your intentions to find the woman of your life in Russia.
- You are attentive, you want to make it happen.
- You are not a dreamer, you are ready to face the problems about a trip in Eastern Europe to meet her.
- You are realistic and pragmatic: she will feel confident with you because she knows she can count on you in case of problems.
You really give her the impression that you are determined and that you are not "virtual.” This will give you a decisive advantage over other men with whom she is in contact (a Russian proverb says, better a bird in your hands than a crane in the sky"). Although the man is younger, more attractive and have a better work situation she will give you preference because she will know that you have every intention to meet quickly and to see her in her country.
Remember that a Russian woman usually does not believe in the reality of her contact with Western men because for her it's just "too good to be true", while for correspondence with you she has already started a sentimental relationship. This is the reason why honest and sincere Russian women seem so reserved and do not express their feelings openly: they are simply afraid of being terribly disappointed.
By this indirect style scammers perfectly understand that you will not be the kind of man who can be easily cheated. They will still try their luck by throwing bait, writing that “she” would be delighted to help you organize your next trip to help you to save money: this query is a clear sign of attempted fraud. No sincere woman begin to talk about money, especially in the first two or three letters, because she does not know you and does not care about your money.
If you think you are in contact with a scammer do not send her a direct accusation letter explaining that you have found the scam. First she would ask you (for you) the usefulness of such a letter. Then if it is indeed a crook her only answer, if there is one, is that of a (supposedly) woman whom you broke her heart, who sincerely believed you and that you inevitably betrayed by your false accusations.
Scammers don’t lack ingenuity and never give up on their victim. Some scammers unmasked by their correspondent try to turn the situation into their advantage by claiming to be "shocked" to be treated as a crook, they say they are honest, brace yourself, they say that they will pay for their trip by selling their kidney !! Just that ! To give more credit to this amazing announcement the scammer will tell you that she went to a hospital specializing in the removal of organs and she was told that she must first pass a medical examination and that after 2 or 3 weeks she would meet a psychiatrist etc ... So in this case the scammer try to convince you that with the money given by the hospital to sell her kidney she will be able to visit you in your countries to prove her sincerity, and this way she hopes to show to you that this is not a scam.
And even the strongest of Western men in the face of this letter of despair lose their uncertainty take the bait again and begin to doubt the evidence of scams they have yet just under their eyes. Then they start to believe in all this nonsense and apologize for being suspicious. When a man knows he is being scammed, he does not need to inform the scammer that he discovered the scam! Don’t not expect the scammer to have remorse. How can it be useful to send such a letter of accusation?
On the other hand if you write a letter of accusation directly to your correspondent but her letter is true and honest then you will just ruin your relationship with her.
If you have any doubts about your beloved and if she refuses to accept your proposal via a third-party agency then you can legitimately think that she is dishonest. Many Russian women have an internet connection at home and ask their Western correspondents to pay for bogus email charges invent some correspondence obtained through dating agencies that do not exist.
It is also possible that in response to your refusal to pay, your love will just threaten to send the Russian mafia to assassinate you and take everything you have; This of course is often considered as a bad joke by most of the western men, but it may be enough to give cold sweats to a few gentlemen who decide to pay because they are really afraid of this kind of threat. This kind of death threat is still quite rare but has been increasing since 2008.
Even if you cut all contact with the scammer, it is more than likely that many other scammers posing as young Russian women looking for men will regularly contact you later. Why? Because since early 2006 the scammers networks exchange listings of gentlemen who were contacted by a scammer of their network, in order to try their luck again with new fake profiles. So do not be surprised if perfect strangers (who are enrolled in any of the dating sites where you are registered) are sending intense love letters to you using your name even though you do not know them!
It serves no purpose to request a photocopy by email of her passport or visa upon corresponding. Indeed with a good drawing program everything can be falsified on a computer!! It is not "evidence" of honesty on the part of the Russian girl. And even if her passport is actually real, it’s just perhaps because another western man paid for administrative costs and she wants to pocket the money you send again for passport or visa. One detail is important: if you receive a photocopy of her "new passport" obtained just check out the date of issue: the scammers often do not pay attention and send a photocopy of a passport obtained before you have sent the money to obtain i !!
You must do a search on Google: Carefully look at the results given by a search concerning their email address: you will often be surprised to find that your beautiful girl is actually "stuck" on many websites as a scammer. Do not hesitate to "google" the email address of your correspondent, it is a good verification of her honesty.
She might hesitate to send a photocopy of her passport and talk about an obscure Russian anti-terrorism law prohibiting the sending of scanned IDs to deny your request for sending copies of official papers.
To unmask a potential scammer there are several "technical" means such as satellite scanning that can determine the latitude and longitude of the place where your correspondent receives your call: if she declares to you that she is calling from Moscow and if her call is in fact from Kaliningrad there is clearly a problem. If you discuss on "chat" on the Internet a computer plotter can show you the history of her internet connection and it will help you to find the city she sends her messages from.
Another simple way to unmask a scammer requires cultural knowledge: study the outdoor photos she sends to you; are the monuments in the background of her photos those of her town or those of another city? Has she really taken these photos in the city she says she lives in? Or did she lie to you about her hometown? Sometimes scammers send photos that "betray" them, learn to carefully study these pictures, with a magnifying glass if necessary!
About the photos that your correspondent sends to you: The photos in JPG or TIFF format that have not been retouched with image processing software contain valuable information that can help you to determine if your correspondent is a scammer or not. This information is in some ways the "identity card" of the picture: this is called EXIF. The ECIF is a mine of data or information’s on the camera settings, time stamp ... and many others associated with digital photos. That is metadata. EXIF data (metadata) are in the same file photo.
With all good image software, you can see in the properties.
I also suggest to you EXIF Reader 3.0 software, which you can download at: http://photos.krieger91.com/script_photos/Exif_Reader_v30.exe to read EXIF photos that your correspondents sent to you. So you can know when the photo was taken, and with what device: if the photo was taken 7 years ago while your correspondent says that the photo is six months old you will know that she is a scammer. If the photo was taken with a high-end professional-type device it may mean that your correspondent uses photos of supermodels collected on the Internet to better appeal to you and swindle you.
Western Union has in recent months become aware of the magnitude of these scams and the use of its services for malicious purposes, which is why more and more transactions by Western gentlemen to Russian girls are blocked when suspicions surround a particular address. Believe it or not but men are so confident that they are dealing with real loving Russian girls, not crooks they when western union refuses to transfer their money to these scammers and threaten to complain against western union! The world turns upside down ... love really makes us blind!
To know if your correspondent is honest and sincere you can "test" her: contact her under another name with a fake profile living in a different city. In order not to arouse her suspicions simply tell her that this fake profile was seeking an old friend who had a similar e-mail to her. If she takes the bait and wants to know this fake man better then you will only have to compare the letters she sent to the two "gentlemen" (you and the fake man’s profile): if these letters are the same you will begin to distrust her. To be 100% sure of her honesty, invite her to come to your country on the same date for both profiles: if she agrees to come to see her two contacts at the same time then you know it 'is a scam ... unless she has the gift of ubiquity: -)
5) Have you been scammed. What do you do?
Please note, scammers say they have not forced people to send money and therefore we can do nothing against them. This argument is totally false and is intended to confuse you and discourage you from filing a complaint. Any person that makes you believe something false in order to get your money commits a scam. This is the case of every young woman who makes you believes in marriage, her false visa problems, etc ... in order to get your money: there was deception and therefore there was a scam.
You can send a letter describing your misadventure to the Russian Embassy in your capital: only they can take appropriate action and refer your complaint to the appropriate person in Russia.
Unfortunately there is very little chance that you can get your money back. However, you can help other men avoid being scammed:
Western Union 13022 Hollenberg Drive; Bridgeton, MO 63044; USA
Send a copy of the certificate of money sent to warn them: you can not in any case ask for a refund, but this letter will allow them to put the girl's address on a blacklist and prevent others from getting trapped.