Monday, January 28, 2008

Beware of Scammers

Here I come again, with yet another warning. I've written about it so much that I felt that I have to finally put it to rest in a place where everyone can read it.


The fictitious person seeks to create a virtual relationship through the exchange of photos and e-mails. Scammers can sign up to online dating agencies or chat rooms just like anyone else. Many online dating sites allow anyone to join for free, and they usually do not screen their members. We at Free Online Dating Site DO. We screen every member and manually approve every profile. Still, no matter how hard we try, we may let one or two slip through. This is why; I have placed links all over the site, warning you that some of the profiles may be scammers. I have asked for your assistance to flag such people and still, despite all the warnings, I see members of the site, falling as pray of these malicious people.

Here is what happens -

At some point she/he begins to ask for money, frequently asking that it should be transferred through wire services. She commonly states that the money is needed to help resolve a family tragedy or arrange for a trip to your country. A copy of a fraudulent visa is sometimes attached to prove good intentions. Many men have lost hundreds, and even thousands, of dollars.

Is it a scam?

Scammers are commonly known to use pictures of models, beauty contest winners, local celebrities and pop-stars! There are quite a few groups that operate in the area. Most are language students (female or male) from local universities. They obtain photographs of beautiful girls and then solicit western men and hopefully start up an online relationship. When the time is right, they start asking for money. In many instances the e-mail's don't even come from women. Some of the most common reasons they give for why they need your help include:

1. I want to meet you but I don't have enough money to travel to see you
2. I have been robbed and beaten, I require urgent surgery or treatment for a serious illness or me or my family member has been a victim of a serious or fatal accident and you are the only person who can help

Is it suspicious? Sure.

They play on the typical Russian stereotypes. There are no jobs. Russian men are horrible husbands. They drink too much and infidelity is at a time high. They need someone to save them. So:

Your new date looks like a model - this is probably because the scammer has used a stolen or a magazine picture.

Your date talks a lot about herself or himself and does not answer your questions - probably because they are sending standard emails to hundreds of people.

How to protect myself?

FROM THE START - ASK FOR SPECIFIC INFOMATION! A full name, address, phone number - something. OFFER THE SAME in exchange, except make it a P.O. box and a CELL PHONE rental card that will protect your identity. If you see your requests ignored, which you usually will, don't waste your time further.

DON'T WAIT 6 MONTHS to offer to talk with the PROSPECT by phone! WHAT A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME! IF THERE IS CHEMISTRY OR THERE APPEARS TO BE 'INTEREST' BETWEEN THE TWO OF YOU - then seize the opportunity. ARRANGE A PHONE CALL! International rates to Russia and most places are reasonably cheap. IF YOU GET THE REPLY 'I'M SO POOR I DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO A PHONE' - drop the whole thing, you’re only wasting your time and WILL BE SCAMMED at some point in the future.

ASK FOR A SPECIAL PHOTO TO BE TAKEN. IF YOU SENT YOURS, HAVE THEM TAKE A PHOTO SHOWING THEM HOLDING UP YOUR PHOTO IN THE PICTURE! That is a good 'scammer filter' - even the most adept with Photoshop will easily be spotted.
Remember: not all international women want to move to the USA.

I think I have been scammed..

We regret that you have no way of obtaining your money back. We suggest contacting the money transfer agency or your credit card company to ascertain their policies in such cases.

No comments:

Post a Comment