For real, a scam or mind my business?

by Maria
(California)

Since you didn't supply a name I just picked "Maria" for reference

I will try to be brief. I'm an American woman who has casually hooked up with an American man, let's call him Sam. Sam recently met Yvonne, a Russian woman, who came to visit Los Angeles. I'm not sure of the nature of this visit but they did appear to hang out quite a bit before her return to Russia.

He stopped texting me when she was here but did send me pics of them together, calling her his wife.

After she returned to Russia our casual relationship resumed. He was not aware that I knew who she was until I brought it up. A brief Twitter search revealed a few cute messages between two and her plans to move to California. He showed me more pics of the two of them and some Russian bills she had given him. My guess is she plans to come back to be with him but she tends to be a bit vague and her life in Russia actually seems good.

She appears to have a good career, her own apartment, friends and family, all in her small town. Sam, on the other hand, is a bipolar alcoholic living in the storage room off of his parents garage.

He works but his job is not stable and I'm not sure how much he makes. He has multiple DUIs, traffic violations, police reports, bad credit, Etc. Why on Earth would she choose this life over her current situation?

Granted, Sam is a compulsive liar and her English is probably limited, but I wonder if she could still be a con or is this just my jealousy talking? Are there Russian women that would go so far as to meet a man just to con him out of cash? Is there something else she could be seeking?

For the time being, I felt it best to stop seeing Sam. Apart from his abusive behavior I don't like feeling like he's cheating on her with me although it's unclear whether they are dating or not. She also seems a bit strange posting racy pics and videos online for strange men to look at.

I'm not sure how she would react if she found out about me.

While there is a bit of jealousy, my conscience has also kicked in. I've considered reaching out to her to warn her but my safety could also be at risk. It's also really none of my business and, chances are, if she has her heart set on coming to California there is probably little I can say or do to stop her.

It's also really none of my business and, chances are, if she has her heart set on coming to California there is probably little I can say or do to stop her.

So what do you think? Is she a con? Could she possibly just be trying to get some extra cash? Should I even care what happens to her? I have a hard time believing that she is unintelligent, as she is a college-educated woman, but she's also young, probably in her early twenties. Any thoughts?


Bob's Answer:

This is pretty far from my usual scam inquiries because she was ACTUALLY IN THE U.S. Many scams involve a Russian woman claiming she can get a visa to visit the U.S. but needs some financial help to pay for it, or to pay for a portion of the airfare. So the typical money scam doesn't seem that likely here.

Besides, you say she does well enough on her own, AND he doesn't do so well.

There is some possibility that she could be using him as a way to gain legal U.S. residence through marriage. It happens. No matter how good her life is - and I would guess it isn't as good as it sounds, especially if she's in her early 20s - it would be better in the U.S. Residency and citizenship through marriage would be one of the fastest, easiest, and surest ways to accomplish that.

OR she could just be a women without a great deal of good judgment. And as you speculate, surely a slight language barrier helps him hide is flaws a bit. And she may just be sucked in by some kind of "charm". It happens. Women sometimes go for the "bad boys" against their better judgment.

But a giant question pops into my head as I read this: If Sam is THAT BAD why do YOU go out with him?! Maybe she likes him for the same reason.

Specific answers... Right, you can't really stop her from coming if she wants. And I would guess that trying to warn her about him would not have any effect.

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Update
by: Maria

While you were formulating your response I did a bit of research on K1 visas and it appears I may be screwed whether I decide to open my mouth or not. If they conduct a background check on Sam they may (I'm not sure) come across a police report for assault with my name on it. I never took him to court and he has no idea I went to the police but he does know about the incident since I talked to him about it a few short months before Yvonne's arrival. This may not disqualify him from getting the Visa but, from what I read, the info could be disclosed to him and his fiance prior to her arrival.

What would disqualify him from getting the Visa is clear evidence of fraud. While I do believe she may be using him to gain entry to the country it is Sam's "infidelity" that could jeopardize her visa. I have numerous texts, as well as a few encounters, that would prove he and I were carrying on some type of relationship after their first meeting. He also introduced me to some of his family just a few short months after introducing Yvonne.

In answer to your question as to why I continue to associate with Sam I did mention I had stopped. Just two weeks later he continues to text me, always late at night. I could block him, but this would also cause me to lose much of my evidence should I choose to report his case.

But would I even need to? Given his record of DUIs etc. and a possible police report for assault, what are his odds of actually getting this Visa granted?

Re: Update
by: Bob (Site Owner)

I'm not sure that actual background checks are actually performed. Where these issues do come up is in the K1 visa application process. I have been through the K1 process once and remember numerous questions on the forms asking if I had any previous arrests, charges, convictions (or some combination thereof) for domestic violence, drug or alcohol related issues, etc.

Additionally, he also has to submit something called an "Affidavit of Support" with lots of financial evidence of his ability to support a new immigrant. If he can't show reliably consistent income above the poverty level (actually I think it's minimum 1.25X the poverty level) the application may be denied.

Lying on those forms is a fairly serious issue in itself, and I think if he answers truthfully the application would be denied. Just my opinion. But applications are denied for far less.

Could they already be married?
by: Maria

After further perusing your site I concluded that Yvonne must have come here on a tourist visa. I'm guessing that with this visa she does not need to apply for a K1 in order to return. I am wondering if she can marry Sam upon coming back and gain citizenship that way?

Or is it possible they could already be married? Although Sam is a compulsive liar he has called her his wife and told me they are married a few times. He also recently got a tattoo of something Russian (her name?) on his wrist.

It appears that Yvonne's friends are in the dark about her plans to move to CA. On Twitter one friend inquired where she was going. Yvonne replied, to CA just need to do a lot of paperwork. So maybe she is already going through the naturalization process?

Sam continues to text me and I told him to be careful with this girl. He told me that I "hate on her" too much because she wants to marry an American. Obviously he knows her motives but his story shifts around.

So can Russian women do this? Can you just come to visit and then find someone to marry?

RE: Could they already be married?
by: Bob (Site Owner)

I'd also guess tourist visa. And a tourist visa is good for something like five years during which she can spend up to six months at a time separated by at least six months.

The normal process is that one applies for a fiancee visa, enters the country on that visa, gets married, then applies for temporary residency (green card) based on the fiancee visa.

OR, in the case of the "spousal visa" (K3) where a couple is already married, they apply for the K3 to allow her entry into the country, then they apply for residency.

Everything I hear suggests it's not very easy to turn a tourist visa into a K1 (fiancee) or K3 (spousal) visa. And she must get one of those visas before she can just apply for residency (green card). She can't just apply for residency while here on a tourist visa, even if they got married.

BUT, I'm not a total expert on this. For visa and residency types of questions you might look through the Visa Journey forum.

Too Much Trouble For Nothing
by: Henry

Maria,

I have to say your story sounds kind of odd. For one thing, you describe Sam as a pretty down and out loser of a guy. DUI's, compulsive liar, problems with work, living with his parents. My first question to you would be what are you doing with him? It sounds like maybe you are into the chaos and turmoil.

It also sounds like you are very jealous of this Russian woman. You have done far more investigating and research on this woman than I have ever done on any woman I have actually dated from Russia. Forgive me for saying but I think the problem here is a little closer to home.

Ask yourself do you really want to be worried about some loser and his possible girlfriend that is a stranger to you? What do you gain by this? What possible good could come of it?

An additional point on the Russian woman. You need to understand that these women are not only intelligent they are very clever about their relationships. Remember in Russia they are very experienced dealing with alcoholic men, and abusive men. That is a common occurrence in Russia. She has probably grown up around numerous men with these fatal character flaws and she knows all about it. So I doubt she needs protection or warning from you about Sam. She may be just trying to get to the US and is using Sam to get here.

Finally are you so sure they are having sex? Once again she may be leading Sam on, to get access to the US. Just read some of the stories on this blog.

Good luck. And let us know what happens.

RE: Too Much Trouble for Nothing
by: Maria

Hi Henry,

Thank you for your input. I do agree that there is some jealousy and a definite addiction to the chaos and drama of it all. I could really get into it but this forum is focused mainly on meeting Russian women not my mental health lol.

I thought the same as you that this woman probably already has a radar for problematic men. That still begs the question: Why Sam? Furthermore, she already appears to have a Visa (probably Tourist). I read that during the interview process for this type of Visa applicants have to verify that they are only coming to the US to visit, not to live. Even if she marries Sam she has to return to Russia after 6 mo. This whole situation IS odd to say the least.

As for the whole sex thing, they did not sleep together which is why Sam stayed in contact with me. IMO she is not the least bit interested in Sam. She often tweets about missing LA, paints pictures of palm trees and reminisces about her visit here. I rarely see anything posted about Sam.

Sam also mentioned something briefly to me about her being "rude" and "not very affectionate" because it was cultural. This is odd to me since I've seen pictures/videos of her online being VERY affectionate with a pretty sexy young Russian dude. They appear to have been together up until about a year ago.

My guess is maybe she just used him while she visited to get an all expenses paid trip. I know he took her out to dinner, drinks and several tourist spots around LA. Not sure what all this talk about moving to CA is all about, seems like a really impulsive and expensive chance to take on a crazy, poor drunk.

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