The Most Important Facts About Ukraine & Russian Dating Scams
No matter where you live or what your background is, being alone and lonely can be devastating to your emotional well being, your social life, and your family life. So, finding ways to cure that loneliness is a reasonable response for anyone. Today, Western men of all ages and backgrounds can simply log on to the internet and start searching for their soul mate from Russia and Ukraine. Everything is easy? No way!
Sadly, Ukrainian & Russian online romance scammers are always on the prowl for Western men who are lonely and naive. These crooks prey on the goodwill and inexperience of their victims. They are criminals who are skilled at taking advantage of the vulnerabilities of people who live thousands of miles away.
These scam artists will use a person emotionally needs, in order to get money or even to steal their identity.
The Ukraine women scam artist specializes in getting a man to fall for a woman by sending pictures and love letters, until they finally ask for money. Usually, the reason will be to get the woman to wherever the man lives, so that they can be together.
This article offers you a comprehensive and updated information on the Ukrainian and Russian online romance fraud incl. introduction and definition of the online dating scam, different types and some advice how to avoid getting scammed. I would appreciate your proactive participation in the discussion below.
Ukrainian & Russian online dating scam: An Introduction
Russian and Ukrainian dating scams take in tens of millions of dollars each year and most of the victims are men. These scammers are ruthless people who are ripping people off by selling elaborate fantasy stories to unsuspecting men. They know what they are doing and how to get the naive victim to fall for the bait. When the scam is over, the unfortunate victim is left still lonely but with less money.
Russian dating expert and owner of Elena’s Models Elena Petrova says that
men using online dating sites regularly receive emails from ‘Russian women’ offering friendship, love and marriage. Most users simply disregard such emails but some people are curious and can be sucked in.
Online Dating Scams Affect 99 Percent Of Male Users Of Internet Personals, Millions Of Dollars Are Lost To Fake ‘Russian Women’
The only real thing in the whole story is the money that a man sends to someone in Russia. The people receiving the money often don’t know they are part of a fraud scheme; they simply get a small fee for each transfer they receive. Once someone reports the fraud and the name is black listed by wire transfer companies, the criminals find someone else to receive the money for them.
This scam typically works by the scammers placing a phony profile on Russian and Ukrainian online dating sites and international dating catalogs using fake or stolen pictures of attractive women from Ukraine and Russia.
However, there have been occasions where the picture is the actual person when/if the scammer happens to be an attractive female.
They then contact a potential victim and lead the person into an online romantic relationship. Within no time, the “bait” quickly falls in love with the victim and starts planning her trip to come and see him.
In reality, the person they are corresponding with is usually a man or a group of men (most of these scams are run by a man or a group or gang of men) pretending to be the women of the victim’s dreams.
The potential victims are lead to believe that the lovely young women they are talking to are looking for love and have picked the unaware target as “the right one”. The scammers then ask for financial assistance for arranging a personal meeting.
They may ask for money for any of the following reasons:
This scam will continue for as long as the victim continues sending money, and he will always have to send money because some new emergency requiring money will always pop up. The scammers will keep the target interested by occasional chats on the phone and by sending him photos that can be quite revealing and erotic.
They will promise him a first meeting that will be hot and passionate but the only thing hot in the end is the person who has been scammed once they realize they have spent their savings on someone that does not exist or they have other motives than love.
Different types of Ukrainian and Russian romance scam
There are several variations of the Russian and Ukrainian online dating scams.
I will start with this one. A trusting victim usually wants to believe in a fairy-tale. When the victim becomes a part of the scammers’ loop, they will flatter and comfort them, share the victim’s ideals and interests until they have formed an emotional attachment with their target online, most likely a serious boyfriend/girlfriend relationship.
Once this is achieved, they go for the kill by artfully deceiving their victim into sending a check or money through untraceable ways. The scammers also ask for personal details in order to rob or blackmail their victims. This method is called Catfishing.
The She-Is-In-Love scenario is when the scammers send e-mails and text messages full love for their victims. The crooks rely on the victim’s dreams and lack of reality. The scammers can sense these from their online interaction. They want to get the victim to continually send them money. You can find the stories of the Cat-fishing victims in the Internet.
The other three common types of the Ukrainian and Russian dating scam:
1.) Ukrainian & Russian translation scams
Translation scams involve a third-party. Here, the scammers posing as a Russian woman will create a simple but sexually charged relationship with the victim. Then she will pretend not to understand English and tell him to hire the translator she recommends which will cost a lot of money.
Here is a mail from of my readers:
I have been writing a young lovely Ukrainian woman for several weeks with the result of her telling me she could no longer write as the translation and internet fees were taking her savings. She works as a nurse practionser doing oral surgery, a good job.
Her translation service wants $40 per week to continue, which I think is extreme. So she feels she is stuck and even has been willing to share the expense.
What do you thiink about these possibilities being straight and not a scam?
I published an example of Ukrainian translation dating scam in my article “A great example of a Ukrainian dating scam: romantic Miss Margarita is looking for love & passion…“.
In my opinion, if a Ukrainian translation agency sends you a request to pay for translation services, it is SCAM. A genuine Ukrainian woman who is really interested in communication with a Western man can use translation services for free like Google Translator or Translate.ru.
I did an online research on this issue and found the following information:
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 creative interpreters may be even as bold as to invite the man to visit n the lady’s behalf. Often, at the time of his arrival for the meeting hopeful Romeo will be informed that his lady had an unexpected family emergency and cannot attend the meeting. He will be offered a list of other, not quite as model-quality looking girls who are available to meet at the moment.
Ukrainian Translation scam
What it is about: a Ukrainian girl initiates correspondence with you, sends you few letters (usually from 3 to 6) and then you receive a letter from a “translation agency” saying that the girl was paying them for translations, but her account is closed now, as she cannot afford paying anymore. If you wish to continue correspondence, now YOU pay. And give you details how to send them money via Western Union.
This is always 100% scam. NEVER EVER pay for it. The “agency” and the “girl” are the same scammer.
This scam is usually pulled by Ukrainian scammers from Lugansk. We almost never see Russians pull translation scams.
2.) Online dating and matchmaking agency as a scammer
The marriage and matchmaking agency / online dating company is completely fictitious. The website displays pictures of beautiful and young Russian and Ukrainian women whom the scammers will introduce to potential victims once their hefty membership is paid. Of course, the agency is a fly-by-night and no introductions are made.
There are many valid Russian and Ukrainian online dating sites, but there are also predatory websites run by people adept at manipulating the emotions of their victim. Always remember that the scammers will write and use anything to get their victim to send them money.
The scam can be run by a single person or several people. These scammers are focused on exploiting compassion and sensitivity. One trick is when the scammers appeal to the victim’s goodness.
For example, the victim meets a Russian / Ukraine woman online through the dating sites. Love develops between them. The woman encourages him and reveals things about herself that is intended to gain his love and sympathy to the point where he feels that he needs to help her. She tells him that no one else will help her and that he is the answer to her prayers.
This control makes him feel very special. At this point, she is comfortable to take the liberty of asking him for money for made-up situations like an emergency or to buy an airplane ticket from Moscow to meet him in the United States. He can send the money through Western Union or Money Gram. Once the scammers get the money, the relationship is discontinued.
3.) Pay Per Letter Scam
The pay per letter scam, or PPL scam, is one innovative model of an online dating scam. It is essentially rather refined and reflects not just one scammer trying to make some money, but instead an organized and formal system with multiple participants operating on a large measure.
There are a great number of “reliable dating and marriage agencies” in Ukraine and Russia looking for translators who are willing to write messages, communicate and translate.
In order to use the online dating services, the Western man needs to pay some amount of money to send an email, read the messages, chat, and so on.
For example, the scammer might charge five dollars per email to theoretically cover the costs of translation.
It is called “pay per letter” scam because the Western man pays for each time they communicate with the Russian and Ukrainian “bride”. The scam artist provides steady, systematic income to the scam team, who benefit from the appearance of validity that the dating site provides.
How to avoid getting scammed?
Guys, just follow my advice:
- Don’t assume everything you see or you are being told is real and factual.
- The scammers will “fall in love” with you within a few emails. Don’t rush into anything.
- Ensure you are using a legitimate, trustworthy dating site. There are many “fly by night” operations floating around on the internet just waiting for potential victims.
- Precaution and skepticism are important.
- Common sense is a very useful tool in detection.
- A potential victim is full of fantasies not reality.
- Question anything that is too good to be true.
- Do research on Russian and Ukrainian women and culture.
Here are a several tips to keep in mind: It is highly unlikely that women or men who look like models will be posting on dating sites so skip anything with glamorous and perfect-looking people. Few people look like models, and nine out of ten, they are already in romantic relationships.
Do not form any association with people who ask you for your e-mail and residential address or your cell phone number through the Russian dating website no matter how much the potential victim likes her. Sooner or later, the scammers will find a way to worm their way to the victim’s affections until the victim becomes attached that he or she sends money and provides intimate information for targeting.
They will keep bombarding their victim with attention. Remember, some of these scammers are part of organized crime. They know how to manipulate their victim by profiling based on the things that the victim writes about himself.
For examples, if the victim writes that he loves animals, the scammer will use that to gain the victim’s trust.
From my experience as a Ukrainian dating blogger, I have to mention that some Western men want to get scammed. They do the same mistakes (e.g. sending money to the translation agencies or to the women because of the emergencies in Ukraine). If you want to get some advice on this issue, I wrote an article:
Guys, do you think about Ukrainian and Russian dating scam? Please share your experience and ideas below.
Many thanks in advance! Спасибо! Spasibo! Дякую!
The article has been updated on the 29th of August, 2018.
Learn more about how to date and marry a Ukrainian woman in the following ebooks:
About the author: Krystyna is a Russian and Ukrainian dating blogger and writer. Here you find more than 500 articles on dating Russian and Ukrainian ladies. In her regularly updated blog posts, Krys has shown a keen eye for online dating issues, dating scam and cross-cultural relationships.
Questions? Feel free to ask Krystyna, your Ukrainian dating expert 🙂 (s. here: Contact Krystyna)
Ukrainian Dating Blogger