Friday, 10 February 2012

Beware Of Scams On Dating Sites

This is mostly of concern to people who are interacting with women from Russia, although many former eastern bloc European countries also fall into this category. Many of these situations apply to 'pen pal' type activities over snail-mail, but they still apply to the Internet.

Be very careful when seeking women or men for relationships or marriage on dating sites hosted in other country's or who's clientele is mainly from a country different than your own. Especially if the ad says seeking men or women in other country's for love and possible marriage. “HELLO”, if that doesn’t say looking for a sucker nothing does. Its been proven time and time again that a lot of these people use dating sites to get out of there native country, or as a vehicle to get into yours, because they would not normally qualify. For some reason or another they can't do it on their own and that's where you come in. I can't count all the stories I've heard or read of people who met someone online from another country brought them over, got them green cards or whatever they needed to stay in the country, then once they were there for enough time that they no longer had to fear being sent back, they were gone. Often leaving the original sponsoring person with a broken heart, big alimony payments and in some cases child support payments. In the mean time their former spouses were busily sponsoring  their real lover from their own country.

One example of this is a man I know who immigrated to Jamaica. He had opened a store there and was making a life for himself. He hired an single woman to work in his store who happened to have several children. After dating and marrying her she began to pester him about going back to his country and how it would be a better place for the kids to grow up. Do you smell a con job? I do. Instead of standing his ground and staying put he applied to take them back home to live, once there she became pregnant, he got a job, was buying a home for them and paying for a vehicle. And after having two children with him on top of the three she had originally she threw him out. She got the house, car and all the furniture on top of that he had to pay alimony and child support for five children, the last time I saw him he was actually riding a bike, living in housing and had lost his job because of his lack of focus brought on by the separation. A high price to pay wouldn't you say.

Another example is a women I'll call Betty who met a man from Europe, brought him over, and married him. After a while she began to notice that her bank account was being drained. Well it turned out he was dipping into it and sending the money back home to his parents. Soon after that he started demanding that she dress like people from his country and only associate with the same. He got her to sponsor his family into the country. It was at this point that she realized that she had been taken and quickly pulled her sponsorship of him, filed for an annulment, and had him deported.

I'm not saying everyone out there are set to use you, but many are, otherwise they would be looking for someone in their own country instead of yours. I mean I know a guy who had a women contact him on face book and tell him she was in love with him. How could she be in love with him when all she did was look at his photo.  One favourite con  is to tell you early on that they are in love with you, like those are magic words or something. Its impossible for anyone to fall in love that fast with someone they have never met in person. They cannot know enough about you! That is your  cue  to block them and stop all co North America is one of the most  beautiful places on earth and we have lots of good looking men and women looking for someone like you. There’s no need to look any further then you own back yard for someone special to share your life with. Just put yourself out there and get noticed. At least you will know they are not after a green card or sponsorship. The truth is that some of these dating sites don't care if you get conned as long as they make money. There are lots of dating and chat sites that you can join to meet men and women locally you don't need to get involved with over-seas sites.

The following are specific examples that have been cited in other publications:

She tells you she can come on a student visa. She does not want you to visit her in her home country and insists on visiting you instead. She asks for money to buy an airline ticket.
She may have a valid reason to insist on coming instead of you going to see her instead, but this is highly suspicious behavior. Do not send her any money, offer to buy her a ticket instead. Make sure you get a refundable ticket. Even if she writes to you that an airline ticket would cost two or three times less in her country (which is questionable), do not send her the money! Buy the ticket yourself!

She tells you she can come on a student visa You are inviting a lady friend to visit you in your home country, and she tells you that she needs money to get an exit visa to leave Russia.
This is a classic scam that is usually packaged up with the “I need you to send me money for the airplane ticket scam. Most countries do not charge for an exit visa, certainly that is not the case in European countries (even Russians do not need any exit visas to leave Russia anymore). 
She tells you she can come on a student visa.
It may be entirely true, but first get more info on her visa and school and ensure the the school knows about her, and that your government actually has a record of such a visa.
She tells you she can come on a fiancée visa and that she can obtain that visa.
She cannot file for a fiancée visa if the two of you have never met before. One of the requirements for the fiancée visa is a personal meeting within the last two years. And YOU will have to file lots of paperwork before she can even fill out her application.
She claims that she can come because she has a work or business visa.
This could be valid even if it is improbable. More likely is that they will try for a work visa first and then apply for a fiancee visa when they get here because that method gets them here sooner, and the fiancee visa is a longer term approval, but more permanent status. In any event, do not send money. Buy any tickets required, including the payment of any visa fees yourself.
She still has ads up after you agree to sponsor her.
This could be just sloppiness on her part by not taking down her old ads after you start your arrangement. Set up some new free email accounts and try contacting her on these other sites to see if she is still trolling.
She wants you to pay for here Internet connection because it is too expensive.
Using an Internet Cafe might be a very big expense for her. The average salary in Russia is only about $200.00 a month or so. If this is one of the first things mentioned however, you should be thinking SCAM!. She may be telling the truth. People in Russia seldom earn more than $300.00 a month. If it is the first thing asked for, then your scam-alert bells should be ringing. Even though it may be true because people in Russia do not earn that much money, if it happens early in your communications with her, then it is likely a scam.
She seldom if ever uses your real name in conversation. It is always dear, or honey, or their Russian equivalent.
Good chance it is a scam, because it is information that she could cut and paste to 15 or so other guys as well. The litmus test is whether the communication refers back to things you have talked about and specifically answers questions that you have asked. If so, then it is unlikely to be a scam.
She expresses love for you before you are hardly through your first few emails.
SCAM Alert!! This is almost surely a scam
Even though you are a lot older than she is, she says that she is very attracted to you.
This one is a 50/50 scammer possibility. Many young women in Russia will prefer men who are 10 to 20 years older. That being said, it is also true that Russian scammers target older western men because they are soft touches.
She makes you aware of her need for money with every communication without ever actually asking for any from you.
She may be trying to get you to offer money to her as a subtle scam, or she may just really be poor. So test her attachment to you by mentioning that you do not have that much money yourself.  You make just enough to get by. If she still continues communicating with you, then she is likely honest. If she stops, she is either a scammer or else a gold digger. Either way, you are better off without her
Most of her letters pretty much say the same things over and over using the same words and phrases.
Very likely this is a copy and paste scammer. They have a lot of pre-written letters and literally cut and paste stuff from them into the current letter. They often lose track of what they have already sent you. Try writing her using an post office box under a different name and see if she sends the same stuff
She cannot give you a phone number because she does not have a phone.
There is a strong chance that this is true because many homes in Russia do not have phones at all.

Useful Links and Trusted marriage agencies:
Russia: Internet Dating Schemes US Department of State

Better yet, seek your future wife in North America:
Here is a great place to find the best dating sites on the Internet.