Tips To Uncover Possible Scammers!
(McCall, Idaho, America)
I have been the subject of many 'female' scammers in the past. And like many people here, I enjoy 'playing' with them for a while as well. I have NEVER released any funds to any of them.
Now, here are a few of my TIPS!
1. Do a "REVERSE IMAGE SEARCH". (It does not always work, but it is a start.) In my case, involving a Russian woman, I got a hit on one-out-of-eight of the photos that she sent me.
2. Open an e-mail message from that person. Click on "DETAILS" of that message, (which is in a different location depending on the e-mail that you use), and locate their "IP ADDRESS". (REMEMBER to copy it!). Go to "GOOGLE" and find an online site that "LOCATES IP ADDRESSES" by their geographical location. I did this, and discovered that her location was actually in Germany, when she said that she was in Russia.
3. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! Ask the female to send you a picture of themselves holding up a sign, or a paper, with "YOUR NAME", (and of course, their face), clearly written on it. In every case, after I have requested that pic, they always vanish! (But not before accusing me of being a 'BAD PERSON' first, for not trusting them. How ironic that is!)
ONE MORE THING!
Just because you do a "Reverse Image Search", and do not get "A HIT", that does NOT mean that they are real. If they have stolen the pictures from another site such as "FACEBOOK", a "REVERSE IMAGE SEARCH" will not locate them. There is no way, at this time, to do that on "FACEBOOK".
Thanks for the tips!
But let me offer some adjustments...
First, IP geolocation has become an extremely unreliable method of validating someone's location. One reason is that now nearly everyone uses web-based mail like Gmail, Yahoo, and Yandex who do not usually include the IP address of the sending computer, only the sender's mail server. And that server is often quite far, even in other countries.
But the real reason IP geolocation fails is the explosion in popularity of VPN (Virtual Private Network). Almost everyone knows about VPNs now - and certainly a scammer who wants to conceal their location will know about them and use them. VPNs allow one to choose the physical location of their IP address. There are legitimate reasons for using VPN. I know because I do this myself.
For example, I'm in Kiev now and some websites and services won't display correctly (or display at all in some cases).
So I "VPN" into a U.S. VPN server so it looks like I'm in New York, or Virginia, or wherever I choose. It solves a lot of problems. But, bad people can use it to hide their real location.
If you look up the IP address of someone who claims to be in Moscow and the IP address tracks to Moscow, it could just be someone in Florida VPNing to Moscow. OR, if she says she's in Moscow but her IP address tracks to Germany it may well mean that this is the location of her mail server, or one of the mail servers in the sequence of steps her email takes to get to you.
It's just a VERY UNRELIABLE method of validating.
RE #3 -- YES, if someone you met online has used stolen pictures "she" (may actually be a man) won't be able to pass this "picture-with-sign test" (picture with her holding a sign with your name written on it).
But if you are actually in communication with a REAL person and try to subject her to these kinds of tests she will probably refuse (and then be falsely identified as a scammer).
BUT if you need these kinds of tests you're doing something very wrong in the first place :)
Most likely you're looking in all the wrong places. If you meet Russian/Ukrainian women on Match.com where their profiles have their contact info disguised ("write me at elena 123 a t yah oo"), THEN SHE'S FAKE. You don't need to spend another second with these tests. Unless she is a R/U girl living in the U.S. and you contact her through Match.com's normal communication process, it's fake.
The better way to avoid scams is to just read my whole section on scams (Russian Dating Scams) :)