Looks like a scam, feels like a scam, BUT.....(Part 3)
(East Sussex, UK)
Your instinct was spot on (not that I ever doubted you!!) (-:
The young lady who wrote to me confirming her visit to the travel agent, and that she would return the next day to pay all the expenses (437 Euros) suddenly ran into a major cash-flow crisis!! Poor old dad and granny couldn't front up (both pensioners you see and all sorts of bills, medicines to pay for, notwithstanding that in some of the photos she sent they lived in a beautiful house in the country and both looked as fit as a fiddle), so she would have to cancel her trip unless...I could lend her the money (only 402 Euros because she'd scraped together 100 but out of that paid 65 for insurance), and she'd pay me back when she got home after her holiday:-
"Steve I'm not a magic fairy, I can not do miracles.... My salary is not enough to pay for our meeting... I think we have to cancel the meeting... I see no other solution...
Of course if you could solve this problem, I can go to a travel agency and ask for a bank account.....
But to return you the spent money, I can only after vacation... When I get the rest of the salary... not earlier Steve... Only after the vacation.."
I will, of course, rush to my bank as soon as she sends me the necessary details and arrange a transfer immediately (I don't think!!).
To be honest, I was a bit miffed. Not because she tried to scam me (I was never going to send any money anyway), but because I thought she would have dragged it out a bit more. She did take rather a nice photo and I got to see some interesting Russian sights. Not to mention the (albeit temporary) boost to the ego by being told how wonderful I am (-: I suppose I could keep it going but I can't be bothered.
What astonishes me is that anyone actually falls for this stuff once they're into the 'endgame', but they obviously do and that keeps the scammers in business. My friends have often told me I'm too untrusting and a cynic. My reply is that a cynic is what an idealist calls a realist.
Anyway, that's probably the end of this particular thread (but who knows what's around the corner?).
Finally, I'd just like to thank you again Bob for your time and effort in responding. It has been much appreciated.
Wow, I didn't mean to call it so closely!
In the very first paragraph at Russian Dating Scams I say "If you are not a naturally cynical, skeptical, or paranoid person, these are some qualities you may want to further develop before dealing with the Russian dating world!" It sounds like you are already there :-)
I suspect that this doesn't work very often, but as a "numbers game" maybe 1 out of 1000 DO fall for it. That's why they don't have time to actually read your message, or respond to details.
That's why on my site (I think) I point out that if in your correspondence you don't really feel like you're "interacting", it's a sign. And a real test is to say something REALLY important, or ask a serious question IN THE MIDDLE of your emails. These scammers never read the middle. They read the first and last paragraph, if not only first and last sentence. If there's an important comment or question there, they might address it.
I REALLY hate to sound like a salesman, but try Elena's Models.
At first you may be a little disappointed that hot 30 year old Russian women are not the first to contact you, and that hot 30 year old Russian women reply to your "Expression of Interest" messages with "Not Interested". But that's all very confidence-inspiring if you think about it. It matches what you really know is REAL. Your "cynical" flashing lights never flash saying "Something's wrong here".
Anyway, you're most welcome, and I'm glad I could be of help. Good luck and keep us posted!