Russian dating scam?
(Los Angeles, California )
Well I had no idea about the Russian/Ukraine phenomenon. But last month I was contacted by a beautiful lady named Olga from Krasnodar Russia. I kept thinking what if it's real? But many things didn't add up. I asked where she got my email 4 times and got a slightly different answer twice and completely different the other 2.
She seemed to fall in love (so she said) rather quickly. She said she wanted to come see me she mentioned the agency and she would plan her travel. All within 3 weeks!
She ignored me then denied any phone or Skype conversations. Said she didn't have access to either one, but offered to call me if I gave her my number. I ignored her request also.
Then the distress email came she said she paid the agency 300 which was all she had. But the agency's services were a lot more expensive than she had thought. And she needed 1350 dollars more to complete the transaction. Will I send it to her? I told her I didn't have it but offered to buy her plane ticket to the U.S. She said "What are you talking about? I already paid the agency and all I need is this money to come and see you. If you don't have it I'm sure you can borrow it. I love you and I wanna be with you". A few days passed, then she sent me another email only to show me a copy of a fake US visa. I assume that's what she was to use to get my money through Western Union. How do I know it was fake? It had as a date of issue February the 2nd 2015. And she sent me the email with the picture of it in January the 27 2015. She said it was the proof that she was serious. And real.
How can you know it is fake?
First, she almost surely doesn't really have a visa, no matter what evidence she sent you to prove otherwise.
Second, you can't even get a straight answer from her about how she got your email address? Seriously? Look, I get these all the time... "Hi, I saw your profile in the marriage agency..." I KNOW she didn't... the normal Russian dating sites don't just give out email addresses. They require communication through their web-based messaging systems. Most of them allow you to exchange direct email addresses during communication, but they don't just give out email addresses. So unless you were communicating with a girl and directly provide your email address, she's a scammer, and probably harvested your email address through some method (assuming you have ever entered your email address on to any web site for any purpose, people can get it).
Third: OK, not EVERYONE has Skype, but EVERYONE in Russia/Ukraine/Belarus/Etc - and I do mean EVERYONE - NO EXCEPTIONS - has a cell phone. Not only that, but cell phones in these former Soviet countries operate on a pre-paid basis AND ALL INCOMING CALLS AND TEXTS ARE FREE, even calls from other countries. That's also 100% certain. So why would a girl who is in love with you lie about this?
Fourth, this is the cookie-cutter scam pattern... strange email shows up, she's in love, she wants to see you, she can get a visa from "the agency", she'll pay for it herself (intending to lower your defenses), but somewhere along the way comes the cash-flow crises ("Oh no, it turns out that ____ happened and now I can't pay the balance...").
Sorry for the bad news. But the good news is that the whole Russian/Ukrainian woman thing is real. But read my site before proceeding further!