I received an email from a Russian woman wanting to meet me and get to know me

by Leonard
(Great Falls, MT)

I have been emailing a Russian woman who says she's a dentist and after about a month wants to come and meet me here in United States but will do it with her own money. She said she will make her own way. Also she said she was here on a work visa and returned to Russia about a year ago. She has sent me pics and also said it took 7 years of schooling. She also said it would take about 2-3 weeks for her to get all the paper work to travel for seminars etc for work

Bob's Answer:

It would help if I knew how you met her. But 99% of the time this story is a scam. Her offering to pay for herself is just an attempt to get around the natural skepticism everyone has when asked for money. But, at the very last minute... The day before her flight, or maybe the day of the flight, she will encounter a major cash-flow crisis.

The bank where she had to go to get her money to pay for her ticket was closed due to some legal problem, or her paycheck was delayed, or... OR, there is an additional unexpected expense at the airport. One recent favorite is "Russian customs requires me to pay an 'exit' fee/deposit to ensure that I will return". Another similar ploy goes like this, "Russian customs requires me to show that I have enough cash before leaving".

Anyway, you get the idea.

And don't bother trying to get her to validate her story. If you do that, you'll accomplish two negative ends...

  1. She actually complies with your request for proof (scanned passport, scanned visa, scanned air tickets, etc.). The problem is that all these things can be faked, AND her very willingness to comply with your request for proof itself proves she's fake. Sincere Russian women would not subject themselves to the test.

  2. If she IS sincere and the real-deal, your request for proof of her authenticity will end the relationship.

The only thing you can do now is play along. When you get that crisis call the day before her flight requesting money, send her some fake money (make up a MoneyGram or Western Union transfer number).

Read Russian Scammers: Email Scams for more information. There are more clues there that may help you be more sure she's a scammer.

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