I am worried about a scam through travel agency

by Troy
(Phoenix, Arizona)

I have been talking to a girl from Novosibirsk for about a month. She wants to come see me. Gave me name of travel agency that would supply all her travel papers and ticket. Now she says she will fly out of Moscow instead and pay 450 for trip. I told her I did not want to go through travel agency, and would fly her out of Novosibirsk. And she could still get her travel papers from agency. She does not want to do this.

Do the travel agency actually supply travel papers and is it a requirement that you have to buy the plane ticket from them.

I thought I had a better chance of not losing my money if it was a scam by setting up her flight here in the states. She even called me today, and left me a message. I want to believe her but who knows. She says that she is coming over on a 3 month tourist visa. I looked up the travel agency to see the possibility of a scam and it came back with a 57% rating. The name of travel agency is azimut-tours. Do you know if they are a reliable business?

Bob's Answer:

Sorry, but this has every earmark of a Russian dating scam. Read my Russian Dating Scams and EVERY link from that page and you'll see your situation on every page.

At least 99% of the time a Russian girl wants to come see you, claims to already have a tourist visa to visit the U.S. (EVEN if she sends you a scanned copy of the visa... No, ESPECIALLY if she sends you a scanned copy of the visa), and insists on all money flow through her agency, it's a scam. If you send money, you'll never see it, or her, again.

As you probably read on my site, it is extremely rare for the U.S. to grant Russian and Ukrainian women tourist visas to visit the U.S. So a girl who claims to already have a visa, but who MUST use a specified travel agency, is a scammer.

This would keep with my advice at Avoiding Russian Women Scams where I say "Follow the Money". If you booked the flight yourself, you might lose that money if she was a scammer, but there really isn't any way she could convert that to cash. THAT'S why she doesn't want to do it this way.

She only wants to do it in a way that either involves cash directly into her hands or you purchasing services through some business she suggests (which will also result in cash in her greedy scammer little hands). This is proof positive of a scam.

If she was real and really already had a visa, there would be no problem for you to buy non-refundable flights from Novosibirsk to Moscow and Moscow to the nearest international airport to your home town in a way that she could not convert to cash.

Hope that helps!

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