Do scammers use bank transfers?
A year ago I signed up for free at a site to meet Russian women, but after filling in my profile realized I had to pay to send messages, so I forgot about the site. Can't recall the site name now, but it said women can send messages for free.
Two months ago I received a message from Tatiana who said she'd been in Canada 4 months, living and working in Toronto. After a month we talked on the phone then agreed to meet in Toronto. I checked the number she called from. It was a Toronto area code.
I live outside Ottawa so planned to go to Toronto. A week before we were to meet she had to return to Russia to help her mother. I've called her cell in Russia every day to talk to her since she arrived there 2 weeks ago. A week ago she said she needs help with a new ticket to return to Canada.
I offered to buy her ticket on my credit card, but she said she needs to buy her own ticket. I said I wouldn't send money by Western Union. She understood, and gave me her mother's bank account number, name and a street address, asking me to transfer money from my account to her.
Tatiana speaks good English with a noticeable accent. Her emails suggest she reads my emails, and she answers some questions. I don't answer all her questions, so I'm not concerned she doesn't answer all mine. She seems sincere, but $1,800 is a lot for me to risk.
Our emails are only unusual in that we talk a lot about what real love is and our search for it. She seems to have little experience with men for a 35 year old woman. I'm 60 years old but look 50ish. Attractive women can attract the worst creeps, so I think she may be the person she says she is.
I want to meet her, but I know there's many scams. I made excuses to delay sending money while I think over what to do. I've never heard of scammers using bank accounts to transfer money. I really feel like Tatiana is real and this could be the start of something special. I feel love for her and believe through our emails she's come to have strong feelings for me. If not for all the scams I've heard of I'd have already sent the money.
What are my chances of meeting her if I transfer money from my bank account to her mother's bank account? Is this a safe way to transfer money or another kind of scam? If you've transferred money bank to bank, please let me know what happened. Thanks for any help you can give me in deciding what to do.
So the local caller ID and the bank transfer are new twists, but EVERYTHING ELSE in this story smells very fishy.
The absolute most fishy being her claim that she has to purchase her own ticket. That's just not true, and I know that from experience. I dated and married a girl from Russia, and I used a credit card to buy her plane tickets from Russia to Dominican Republic, and from Russia to here when her fiancee visa was approved. I would not believe any explanation for why she has to be the one to buy the tickets. That alone is such a definitive indicator that I personally would not need any more.
It's also very fishy that just before this planned meeting she HAD to return home, "to help her mother". Not saying that mothers don't sometimes need help, but this is all intended to evoke sympathy on your part.
And finally (in order of significance), she contacted you kinda out of the blue. If you don't mind my asking, what was the site where you met?
I'm pretty sure it is possible to fake caller ID... Actually I KNOW it's possible because I get robo-callers calling me FROM MY OWN NUMBER.
And you're right, for those ANONYMOUS emailer scams it would be very rare for them to take payments by bank transfer, but this one is clearly a little more involved, and the fact that it's a bank transfer definitely does not rule out scam.
At this point I wouldn't pay for anything, not even airfare with your credit card. Because then, after you've put out this $1800 that you can't get back, she'll call again saying that at the airport Russia requires her to leave a deposit to ensure her return (another popular BS story), or that she missed her flight and needs to pay the schedule change penalty in cash, etc.
Sorry for the bad news, but that's how I see it.