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Internet dating scams in Russia

Romance scams are on the rise in Russia. Suppose you found a pretty Russian girl on the Net, soon she expresses romantic interest in you, and you fall in love with her. As you live far away from each other, she asks for some cash to obtain a passport and get a visa to your country. Once your new love interest got quite a sum of money from you, she disappears without a trace.

Everybody may fall victim to this type of scam, even well-educated and wealthy people. However, romance scams considerably impact lonely and elderly ones. Although both men and women can be a victim, in our practice foreign men turn out to be more vulnerable to feminine charm of Russian beauties. The saddest part about this story is that perpetrators are ready to fleece the victim out of money as long as he or she is comfortable sending it.


☑ They always have an excuse not to show up and meet with you in real life. It’s easy for a person living abroad – a criminal may refer to not having a passport to travel to another country or not enough money to buy a ticket. It may well be true, but you should be careful.

☑ Asking for money. As mentioned, the object of your affections can ask to help her buy a ticket, but this is not the only story they can make up, for example, they often request money for emergency surgery, or to get away with a crime, or to pay a loan back.

☑ They tell you how to pay. The perpetrator will be likely to choose a way that makes it hard for you to return the amount transferred. Before the sanctions imposed on Russia, scammers often asked to use Western Union, MoneyGram or other money transfer services; now cryptocurrencies are becoming more popular. We’ve also seen many cases in which criminals convinced their victim to send money through their partner in crime in Kazakhstan.

SO HOW DO I SPOT A LOVE SCAM? Here are some tips:

● The relationship moves suspiciously fast and good. Perpetrators usually do extensive research on their targets in social media and dating sites to find as much information as possible, create a fake identity and quickly strike up a relationship to build up trust. If the interests and hobbies of the person you’re communicating with almost exactly match yours, and she or he agrees with you almost in everything, it must red-flag you.

● Try a reverse-image search of your online interest’s profile pictures. It may be the case the girl isn’t who she pretends to be.

● Always keep all the receipts confirming you transferred money; on the basis of these documents you’ll be able to prove her having scammed you. Bear in mind that in case of cryptocurrencies it’ll be basically impossible to prove anything.

● If she keeps begging for even more money, this is apparently a scammer.
Yet the best advice we can give is not to send money to someone you’ve never met in person.

Although victims often hide the crime they were involved in because they feel embarrassed at being deceived, it’s a better idea to report it. This way the victim may prevent the criminal from committing further scams and get their money back. At least half of success depends on a correct and reasonable crime report to the police. Reach out to us to seek legal help:

Tel: +7 909 961-19-09
Visit us: Moscow, Zubovskiy bulvar, building 4/1, office 308

You might also like our articles about how to get money back if you were deceived and what stories scammers make up to steal money.
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