The idea of a pen pal was cool, but I could tell where this is going.

by RG
(Michigan )

Here's my story. Got a message from a Russian woman on the plenty of fish dating site. She didn't like talking there so I gave her my backup email account. She seemed legit for a long time and she was fun to talk to. After a couple months, she confessed she was in love with me and wanted to get to the US. She lived alone and a grandmother was the only family member she got along with. The grandmother passes and now she really wants to be with me due to having no one in her life. I didn't have money to send so she was able to get a loan. And at this point she is planning her trip while all along I almost guaranteed it wouldn't happen. So I'm just playing along until she asks for money so that will be the end. She only communicates through email and never on weekends. Has no other social media and apparently only has internet access at her local library. She was cool to communicate with but the red flags were there and I've accepted this won't continue much longer.

Comments for The idea of a pen pal was cool, but I could tell where this is going.

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RE: The idea of a pen pal was cool, but I could tell where this is going.
by: Bob (site owner/author)

Good call. EVERY element presented here is textbook remote scam... The free website connection, the email-only communication, the sad story of loneliness, the (supposed) lack of internet at home, her desire to go to the U.S., etc., etc. etc.

I will be releasing my second book soon on the subject of scams, and some of this info is available free on the site, but SHE HAS HOME INTERNET and she has a mobile smartphone with Skype, Viber, and Whatsapp (all internet communication apps) that are FREE to use (minus internet costs, but internet is cheap and unlimited, and wifi is available FREE almost everywhere).

One can have FREE video and/or voice calls over Skype/Viber/Whatsapp, and everyone in Russia/Ukraine has and knows how to use at least one of these - most know all three.

AND even with a "dumb" mobile phone ALL INCOMING CALLS ARE FREE, even from international locations. An international call will cost you, but not her.

So every excuse she may give for being unable to speak are bogus.

Also, she CAN'T "just go" to the U.S. She needs a VISA, and that's FAR from a sure thing. She has to apply. And as a single woman she has a far greater chance of being rejected than approved.

She could get a fiancee visa, but you're only eligible to petition for that AFTER you have met in person and can prove (with lots of pictures and receipts and other evidence) that you have a real relationship.

It's a scam.

If you want to play it out further, ask for her to have a video call with you (Skype, Viber, or Whatsapp). When she says she doesn't have internet, ask if she has a smart phone (Android, iPhone) and can go to a free wifi spot at a restaurant or public building.

She'll have some wacky reason she can't.

Then offer to visit her in her city. This is really the only way the international connection can ever happen anyway... first meeting at her location. You don't have to make the trip, just offer. She'll have a reason it won't work, isn't good, isn't possible, etc.

Follow Up
by: RG

Yep, there hasn't been money asked for yet but after a few days I got an update saying her flight was booked in 2 weeks July 23, and she will be approved for a visa. Still playing along like she will be here even though I know its not happening. She stopped sending photos as well when they used to come every email. She was asking about a job when she arrives also, in which I asked for her contact information, but seems every important question I have asked, have been avoided, which was another red flag. Just waiting for the part where money is asked, in which it will be shut down.

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