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Don't Be Scammed
Oct 10, 2007

What types of Scams are there? Good question, there are 6 basic types of scams prevelent in Ukraine & Russian.

Visa and Tickets Scammer:

A fat hairy guy is typing away "My beloved NAME, you are the man of my dreams!!! I love you, my honey! Your princess, Natasha" while eating a sandwich and washing it down with some cheap beer. He is a ruthless con-man who is making money selling elaborate fantasy stories to trusting foreigners. He knows how to push the right buttons to make his victims to completely fall in love with a fictional lonely girl from the letters.

This type of scammer hunts only the most vulnerable and inexperienced online daters.

The scammer will request money for:

  • Visa (possibly trough a fake “travel agency”)
  • Tickets (possibly trough a fake “travel agency”)
  • Travel accommodations
  • Travel insurance or "pocket money"
  • Health problems / death in the family
  • Car / apartment accidents
  • Cell phone
  • To bail “her” out of jail or some other legal problem
  • Also can ask the victim to cash a check, to open or fund an Ebay account, to help to transfer the funds from back accounts, etc (variation of Nigerian scam)

Where found:

Anywhere he can place an ad. Sometimes even of Craig's List! Often pays for memberships with stolen credit cards.

Accomplices:

  • Fake travel agents and agencies
  • Fake “girlfriends”
  • Fake “members of the family” (mom, grandma, etc)
  • Fake “lawyers”
  • Fake “doctors”

Typical Scammer:

Computer-literate crooks (college students, pimps) who hire local female students, prostitutes, drug addicts, etc to pick up money in WU office. They often work in groups and set up multiple ads / accounts on many large dating sites. Most often the scam is run by Russian males. The pictures of Russian women are usually stolen or bought online. The phone calls to potential victims are done by hired female interpreters. They often send fake passports, visas, tickets, and other documents.

Warning Signs:

Basically, it is a scam where a lonely foreign man gets acquainted over the Internet with an attractive female from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, etc . Whoever is behind the scam will try to get as much money out of the unsuspecting foreigner as possible.

Most scammers ask for money for one or more of the following:

  • passport, visa, tickets, "travel insurance"
  • emergency medical expenses for the girl or her relatives (illness, car accident, death in the family)
  • internet cafe / marriage agency expenses
  • car accidents (the girl borrowed a car and wrecked it), apartment expenses (rent, repairs)
  • presents for herself and her family at holiday times
  • luxury items (cell phones, clothes, etc)

Sometimes men are being asked to cash a check for the girl (watch out for that one, the checks will bounce!), to open or fund an Ebay account for the girl, to disclose their bank account or credit card information.

Detection: On your own, used common sense, search for the name, address, and IP address on the Internet sending a small bouquet of flowers through an independent flower delivery agency.

Checking through and Investigative Service:

Performing an Address Bureau Check to verify that the person you are writing to is not a fictional character. Performing a Quick Internet Scam Check to make sure that there is nothing on the Internet that can help you to determine whether or not this person is a scammer. Performing an address check and photo verification to make sure that the person you write to is the person who really lives at that address. Verify the validity of†any documents this person sent to you and depending on how suspicious you are perform a criminal records check to make sure the person you write to is not a criminal on the run. For these services we use L&B Data Systems Investigative Service

An Unscrupulous or Fake Marriage / Translation Agency:

Sometimes a herd of interpreters is working for an unscrupulous marriage agency owner wanting to boost his profits. But they are not translating. They are actually fabricating the letters. They impersonate the ladies rather than work for them. The real ladies may not be even aware that someone is corresponding on their behalf. The scammers may be even as bold as to invite the man to visit. Often, at the time of his arrival for the meeting the man will be informed that his lady had an unexpected family emergency and cannot attend the meeting.

The scammers will request money for:

  • communication expenses such as translations, phone calls, scanning, printing, etc.
  • possible applications for visa and immigration documents (sent to the agency’s manager)
  • gifts, flowers
  • accommodation expenses,

Where found:

Have their own web sites. Often change domain names, create multiple clones of themselves on other dating sites. When girl’s info is viewed, the viewer is invited to write her through the agency.

Typical Scammer:

An owner with access to women’s profiles (stolen; bough from other agencies; collected locally) and several interpreters with minimum wage. Profit sharing may occur.

Warning Signs:

You start to receive letters from alot of women within minutes or hours of signing up for the agency's service. Several different ladies send you identical introduction emails. After a few very warm letters the lady suddenly announces that she can no longer pay for the translation of the letters and asks you to send money for further communication. The agency has strict rules that of any and all correspondence (email or phone) can be conducted only through the agency The agency does not allow ladies to provide you with their last names. Excessive agency fees (comparing to other web sites)

Detection:

Not easy to detect. But can be detected by requesting the lady’s full name and /or address and verifying that info through an independent source (an Address Bureau Check or a Quick Address Verification would be particularly helpful), checking the agency's reputation on online anti-scam sites and forums verifying through an independent source that the lady is aware of the correspondence

Vacation Hunters:

She is a decent looking lady with a taste for traveling. She loves exotic places, things, and high lifestyle. However, she is not that interested in marriage at the moment.

The scammer will request money for:

  • Travel expenses
  • Shopping / Personal expenses

Where found:

Any dating site (small and large)

Warning signs:

  • Has profiles on dating sites for wealthy people or on a sex-chat web sites (Millionaire Match, for example, or AdultFunder)
  • Extensive travel history.
  • Avoids conversations about marriage
  • Shows no interest for meeting in her home town
  • If no plans for traveling is offered, looses interest quickly
  • Frequently absent from correspondence for weeks on end
  • Dresses provocatively and expensively and has a very upscale accessories or apartment for her supposed level of income
  • Leaves room when she has to take a phone call, of text messaging from her phone frequently without explaining to you who she is talking to.

Detection:

Detection is difficult. Private investigator will likely confirm most of the information the girl provided you about herself (name, address, family members, etc). Sometimes however this type of scammer lies about her employment, previous marriages, and lifestyle. So try this:

  • Insist on meeting in her home town and avoid plans for traveling to exotic destinations – she may loose interest
  • Google her name and address
  • Hire a PI to collect information about her employment, reputation and lifestyle among neighbors
  • During personal meeting, check her international passport for records of frequent international travels.

Pro-Dater:

A lady who dates for material profits of psychological need of attention but does not plan to marry any time soon.

Where found:

Any dating site.

Warning signs:

  • Has profiles on dating sites for wealthy people or on a sex-chat web sites (Millionaire Match, for example, or AdultFunder)
  • Extensive travel history
  • Vague about marriage plans or tries to prolong the process of visa application for as long as possible.
  • Looses interest quickly if no presents or monthly support is given at her request
  • Money requests are frequent and casual, and become more and more frequent as the time goes by, any resistance or inquiries about how the money were spend are taken very negatively
  • Sometimes absent from correspondence for days or weeks without good explanation
  • During personal meeting requests frequent shopping trips, expensive items, eating in most expensive restaurants, etc. Does not look concerned about the prices, gets upset if high costs are mentioned or discussed.
  • Dresses provocatively and expensively and has upscale accessories or apartment for her supposed level of income.
  • Leaves room when she has to take a phone call, of text messaging from her phone frequently without explaining to you who she is talking to.

Detection:

Detection is difficult. Private investigator will likely confirm most of the information the girl provided you about herself (name, address, family members, etc). Sometimes however this type of scammer lies about her employment, previous marriages, and lifestyle. So try this:

  • Offer only a small monthly support, do not send lavish gifts.
  • Google her name and address.
  • Hire a PI to collect information about her reputation, employment and lifestyle among neighbors.
  • During personal meeting, resist buying her expensive things she asks for and watch for her reaction.
  • During personal meeting, observe her spending habits and compare it to the level of income she told you she has.
  • Talk about marriage and immigration issues and see if she is looking bored or distracted.
  • You are not allowed to use her computer or to look at her emails.

Bigger Better Deal (BBD) Hunter:

It is a type of Professional Dater (see above) who is indeed interested in getting married, but waits to see if a bigger and better deal (then you) may come along.

Warning signs:

  • Medium to high maintenance, frequent requests for money, expresses disappointment or looses interest when money are refused.
  • Unexplained absences from correspondence.
  • During personal meeting requests frequent shopping trips, jewelry, eating in upscale restaurants, etc.
  • Very eager to start the process one month and then becomes vague about marriage plans the next months.
  • Grills you about the type of a house you have, the type of car, your job status, requests pictures or video of your house, cars, etc; fascinated with the subject of your income, investments, etc.
  • Leaves room when she has to take a phone call, of text messaging from her phone frequently without explaining to you who she is talking to.
  • You are not allowed to use her computer or to look at her emails

Detection:

Detection is very difficult. But you can try this:

  • Offer only a small monthly support, do not send lavish gifts.
  • Hire a PI to collect information about her reputation, employment and lifestyle among neighbors.
  • During personal meeting, resist buying her expensive things she asks for and watch for her reaction.
  • During personal meeting, observe her spending habits and compare it to the level of income she told you she has.

Green Card Hunter / Gold Digger:

Read More:

The most dangerous kind of all. This type of scammer is mainly after a possibility of immigration into your country at your expense. Often has one or more children from previous marriage. She views you as her “green card mule”, plans to divorce you once her paperwork is in order, often has no positive personal feelings toward you, and will go to any length to achieve whatever goals she had. When ready to strike, she may send you to jail on fabricated claims of domestic or sexual abuse, she may also try to empty your bank account, clean out your home of all valuables, and get a big settlement during the divorce.

Warning signs:

  • Good but brief relationship before the marriage and a drastic change to the worse after the marriage.
  • After marriage refuses sex except for times when wants something from you (a present, a credit card, separate bank account, etc).
  • Demands separate living arrangements (different bedrooms or even apartments); separate credit cards and bank accounts.
  • Very unsatisfied about your social or financial status; demands expensive purchases that she knows you cannot afford; gets angry or violent when refused her demands.
  • Does not socialize with your family or children; treat them with disrespect.
  • Does not invite you to socialize with her friends.
  • Behaves in a secretive way; has friends that you find shady or unpleasant




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