I don't think it's a scam but...

by Ed
(Sparta Tennessee )

Hello my name is Ed, I have been talking to a Russian women for a while now and she wants to come here. She has a Visa and seems to be genuine. She spoke with a travel lawyer and was told it would cost 1600.00 for her to travel to me. Now 300 of that is for health insurance and it must be paid in a Russian bank? Is this a real requirement for travel? I offered to buy the the tickets and visitors insurance for her here and I need more information please.

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RE: I don't think it's a scam but...
by: Bob (site owner)

Hi Ed

I'm sorry to say, but it definitely sounds like a scam to me. It has all the hallmarks... She has a visa, can travel to see you, but needs just a little more money to finalize the deal. I've never heard of health insurance being required for Russians to travel to the U.S., and certainly not required to be paid to a Russian bank.

I assure you if you send her money, she still won't come. She may stay in touch if she thinks she can squeeze you for more, but you'll never see her.

If you read much of my site you'll see that sending money for ANY reason violates the golden rule of scam defense: NEVER SEND MONEY! EVER.

If you REALLY think this is real, and really don't want to blow it, you simply must go there, and you must only pay for normal date expenses - dinners, drinks, entertainment, SMALL gifts, etc. You must NOT buy her cars, jewelry, or apartments LOL.

It takes all the profit motive off the table for her.

But if you offer that I assure you she'll reject it for some ridiculous, fake reason... She'll be offended that you don't trust her (as you shouldn't), she'll explain that it is customary for a couple to meet in the man's country first, and on and on. The one thing I can assure you: She WON'T go for it (you visiting her in Russia first).

READ ALL of my information on scams, starting with Russian Scammers: Email Scams.

Thanks Bob can I get a little more information?
by: Ed

Bob thanks for answering my question, unfortunately I have a few more. When I suggested that I buy the tickets for her and have the airline hold them, she said that the travel lawyer told her that due to the political tensions she may not be allowed to use them or customs may give her trouble. Is this valid? Bob how long is a Visa good for? She says hers expires in August on the 26 of this year and she can't get a new one so if we want to meet there is a time table. I haven't sent her any money, she says she doesn't have a phone or computer and we have been communicating thru her work computer. Bob I like this woman but I see red flags what should I do?

[Bob's Answer:]

Hi Ed. In cases like this the girl will always have some reason why cash transfer is the only thing that will work. Of course it is better for you to buy the tickets and send her the eticket number, but she can't convert that into cash.

New data you have just provided also falls in line with my assumption that this is a scam: She doesn't have a phone or computer? I absolutely assure you she has a phone and a computer and internet! Every 12 year old girl in Russia/Ukraine has a mobile phone. They're cheap to buy and the service is dirt cheap. AND, all incoming calls are FREE/UNLIMITED.

This girl is a scammer. We can already see from what you've reported that she has every mark of a scammer. DON'T SEND MONEY.

Really man, read ALL my scam information!

Thanks again Bob
by: Ed

Thanks for the information. I plan on asking her if I should visit her and I'll see what her reaction is. I won't send her any money, but a heads up for any other guys apparently Bitcoin is how they want to send money now.

[From Bob:]

You're welcome! I hadn't heard the Bitcoin angle, but for any scams actually operating from Russia it makes sense as I'm pretty sure western sanctions on Russia make transferring cash very difficult.

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