DATING GAME OVERSEAS EDITION-II - Dec 1, 2005
International Dating Rife with Scams, Con Artists on Blacklists;
Scam Detectors Have Ways of Detecting Frauds
By Tony Rutherford
Huntington News Network Writer
Source of the article: http://www.huntingtonnews.net/columns/051130-rutheford-dating.html
Huntington, WV (HNN) --When Tatyana continued basking me with
letters containing the warmth of alleged love, I contacted
a Russian acquaintance for a heart-to-heart.
Surprisingly, the woman told me that she had worked for an
international marriage agency, occasionally working as a translator
for a couple who had been paired and had their first meeting
with the Russian woman not knowing English or the man Russian.
Unable to determine from the letters Tatyanas sincerity,
she advised me to be wary of scams and to Google
for agencies that can detect them.
Many black lists exist for Russian women (and others) who
have conned money out of men over the Internet. Tatyanas
name was not on any of them. I took a preliminary ten question
test, which did not clearly show she was a fraud.
Not wanting to simmer a legitimate romantic, I found Russian
Scamcheck.org which said they could check out
almost any Russian woman. The idea behind Scamcheck is to
have the man send the woman a small gift. Working generally
through a network of florists, this agency would have the
delivery person report to them on such vitals as the age of
the recipient, whether she lived there, whether there
was a residence, etc.
The monetary risk slight: Twice the cost of a dozen roses
So while Tatyana continued asking, You will take care
of me to arrive to you? and I have almost finished
official registration of papers. I already can arrive to you.
Put only in the finance. I send you a copy of one of documents,
I arranged for Scamcheck (http://www.russianscamcheck.org)
to help me learn whether the woman was real.
In fact, they told me that the letters of scam women
may look very similar as letters from honest women and vice
versa, wrote Phillip Miltov, a customer service associate
at Scamcheck. None of the scammers ever provides the
correct address and phone number.
During the period when the rose was being sent, I held off
for the most part on answering Tatyanas correspondence,
even though at one time during that critical she sent me five
emails in one day.
A few days later, I received the following: We found
that there is no such person at that address. This is an office
building. We asked the management and employees if they ever
knew Tatyana , but they said they did not know such person.
In addition we check the local phone and address directors,
but could not find her in the public listings.
Disappointed? Yes, but not heartbroken. I had been previously
advised to be cautious despite her sincere sounding letters.
Tatyana indicated that she lived in one of the former republics
of the Soviet Union. According to Miltov, the scam cases
are less possible in Moscow as the people in Moscow are busier
on their jobs and do not have time for Internet scamming.
In the other parts of the country, the scam rate is more or
less equal in every area. Women in other parts of the county
have more difficulties finding a job or are getting low pay.
Some unemployed or low-paid women who know at least basic
English, may do scam(s) on the internet.
In fact, my source in West Virginia indicated that she had
occasionally worked as a translator for couples who had met
through a legitimate Russian marriage agency that assembles
profiles and generally send men a list of potentially compatible
Language is no barrier to love, she explained,
indicating that some of the couples with whom she worked developed
hand signals or basic communication skills during their tour
of the city.
She does not know if any of the couples for whom she assisted
with translations married, but she did say that some of her
female friends who studied with her in Russia at a university
had married European or American men. They seem to be
happy, she said.
So, are you corresponding with a women (or men) whom you have
A few quick and terse recommendations:
1. Look for a form reply that does not answer
specific questions. In fact, you should ask several benign
questions I liked to ask something about specific movies
--- to see if she attempts to answer the question.
2. Most women send a different photo of themselves with each
email. Ask her to take a specific picture for you. Suggest
she get a shot of a park in her city, a theatre, or herself
in, say, a red dress.
3. If passions heat up, ask for her phone or ask her to call
you. Try to get her to use an Internet messenger.
4. Get her home address.
5. Do not send money (to help with Internet fees, café
costs, an illness, a visa, etc).
6. Re-read some of her initial letters and see if what you
think is original might have been repeated
word for word in other letters.
Russian Scam Check also will send a single rose, verify addresses
and check for passports ($59). A full background (i.e. date
of birth, criminal records, children, divorces, phone numbers,
etc) is also available for $120. Additional agencies provide
similar services and thee are forums where men can inquire
about particular concerns such as travel, the K-1 Visa, and
While Tatyana actually sent me a scanned copy of her passport,
the greatest hurdle is for the woman to get a tourist visa
to the United States. And, if you send her money, theres
no way you can ensure that she spends it for that. Some services
can check AFTERWARDS to see if it has been obtained, but by
then you will have been scammed hundreds.
Also, the K-1 Visa (fiancé visa) requires
that the couple have MET at least once before it will be approved.
A lengthy documentation of emails, letters and phone calls
will assist in the approval. The LONGER the time frame , the
more likely for an approval.
Otherwise, women are likely to scan false documents into the
email and attempt to demonstrate that they have obtained a
visa. Some then allegedly arrive at a European airport, and
email the guy , asking for money again.
As for Tatyana, I sent her two emails telling her that she
did not live at the address she had given. I asked her to
call or send a new address as I had tried to send her
flowers. I received an email apologizing for not writing
stating that she had been in the hospital. I wrote back and
asked how she was doing. She did not comment on the address,
flowers, or mention travel. The closest she came to acknowledging
these questions was to Please do not take offence at
me, I is not guilty in that in Russia very bad work for us
the Internet of café.
When speaking of her illness, she told me, I have very
much frozen and therefore was ill. Mum came to me in hospital
each day. Each day asked --- WHEN WE SHALL BE TOGETHER? I
very much love you. I am very happy again I can to write to
you. I shall write to you now each day. Your love, Tatyana!
I have not heard from her since Nov. 13.
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