Scams on the internet & Anti Scam policy Frequently Asked Questions
Please select the subject of your question.
What is your Anti Scam Policy?
You should know that we support an anti-scam program and we warn all Western and European men. We as an agency are concerned about those men and women that make their business of scamming for money. DO NOT send money to women that you have not met and you will not be scammed.
All agencies have problems because of scammers, when a woman comes to register at our agency, we see her passport and we check all her information such as : name, age, date of birth, marital status and if she has children. Further more when a woman starts writing letters and receives responses from men, the agency translators check to see if there are requests for money. If we see such a request (exception: covering her travel expenses when you are coming to ukraine and she is from another city) - the womens profile will be removed from our website and agency.
But sometimes problems do occur - like anywhere else in the world, there are honest and dishonest people. We are concerned about those women who make asking money from men their practice, be aware that this fraud can be run on the Internet by individuals (men or Women) or agencies. (Large or small) You should know that we are serious agency and understand that only honest hard work will ensure that we stay in business. We support all anti-scam programs and warn all men - Do not send money to women you do not know.Also DO NOT mention your income and possessions during your correspondence, avoid the money topic.
A lot of People in Ukraine and Russia think that life in Europe and the West is easy and people there have so much money that they do not know what to spend it on. Do not make these women think it is true, be wise and reasonable when a pretty women asks and begs you for some financial help because her child or mother is ill and you are the only one she can ask for help. Our agency tries to save you from these scammers and gives you the possibility to meet an honest woman who could become your wife.
Useful Information you should know :
- The main idea of the correspondence should be to develop a special relationship with a foreign lady, not to purchase one. We would like you to be aware of the risks that you might get in contact with a lady who will ask for money because of one reason or another. If you are asked for money after a short time of correspondence, it should set of an ALARM, and you should be cautious, so you avoid becoming a victim of scam. Of course it could be nice to help out, if the lady you are corresponding with needs a financial helping hand. Help her out this way, ONLY if you know her well, and don't suspect her to be a scammer.
- If someone tries to pressure you to send money - contact us right away. We will investigate the complaint and find out what is going on and sort out the issue. Remember, if you are not following our advice and send money to a lady - it is on your own risk! We are not responsible for any economical losses you might suffer because of scam.
- Do not use single dating sites or free personal's Only Use a Marriage agency where you pay for corresponding and letter forwarding: Marriage agencies care about their reputation and do checks on their women-clients identity (so, that you can avoid writing to a phantom woman), the agency translates and delivers letters to women with out charging them (so, you can also avoid being scammed by the I need-money-for-internet-cafe-and-translation scenario); besides, you can always ask for advice, help and support from an agency..
- If you are going to use services of an Internet dating or Marriage agency, avoid web-sites that do not accept payments for there services on-line. When you pay with the credit card, your money "leaves a trail".
- Don't send money to women you don't know!
In any case, BridesofUkraine can not take any responsibility for the economical loss you might have suffered because of scam.
IF SOMEONE TRIES TO PRESSURE YOU TO SEND MONEY, PLEASE, CONTACT US RIGHT AWAY.
WE WILL TRY TO FIND OUT WHAT`S GOING ON, AND WE WILL DELETE THE ADD FROM OUR PAGES.
AS AN HONEST MARRIAGE AGENCY, WE SORT OUT POSSIBLE SCAMMERS WHO HAVE ENTERED OUR PAGES WITH DISHONEST INTENTIONS.
IF YOU SEND MONEY TO A WOMAN, IT IS YOUR OWN RESPONSIBILITY!
We always worry for the risk that our net-pages will be used as a tool for frauds and scam.We take our task seriously, and we encourage all members who experience scam to contact us. Our policy is to care for both women and men's interests. We will not publish episodes that might occur, but we will delete the profile of any scammer we discover right away. Fortunately, fraud and scam is not a common thing to experience at bridesofukraine.com Nevertheless, we see it as our responsibility to inform you that such episodes may happen and ask you to contact us if you suspect a lady is a scammer.
Report Possible Scam Attempt's
- If you think
- a) you've found a possible scammer listed in our database
- b) The lady you are corresponding with tries to pressure you to send money
- - contact us right away!
- In case a) please send us the following information:
- The ID of the lady (in our database)
- Detailed information about why you think she is a scammer - e.g. URLs of anti-scam sites
- Her names, surnames and other data (if it is different on other websites)
- Where she is listed as a scammer, your own experience with her on other websites etc.
- In case b) please send us the following information:
- The ID of the lady (in our database)
- Details of the correspondence, where we can see possible scam attempts
- Any other important (in your opinion) details
- Remember to Report possible scammers to us at - firstname.lastname@example.org
A lady has asked me for financial help. I ask that you investigate her under your anti-scam policy. If she is insincere, then I will not want to communicate with her again. Please advice.
We investigate EVERY case when a woman asks for money. If you are scammed by a woman in our database, we will return you money you spent on corresponding with her. And NEVER SEND MONEY to a woman you do not know very well or have not met personally.
The lady signed her letter Irina, when in her profile her name is Irochka. Is she a scammer?
Of course, it is not! The girl just uses common variant of her name to sign her letters. One and the same name can have many variants. It is understandable that Western men wouldn't know all variants of Russian women names, as, for example, it still surprises Russian women when Robert from profile becomes Bob in the letters. We would advise you to consult Russian women names page to find out a little bit more about most popular variants of names that can be used by Russian brides in correspondence.
Do you interview the women that are placed on your site? What backgrounds checks to you do and what sort of ID do you check?
It is a policy to check woman's ID - passport in Ukraine (it is NOT her international passport which is needed only for traveling abroad, and since not many woman can afford traveling, in many cases women just do not have an international passport, it is an internal passport every citizen of these countries receive when he/she reaches the age of 16). There we can check: first name, last name, middle name, and date of birth, place of registration (NOT postal address, or living address, but the address where this person is registered. It is quite often but not always that this place of registration co-insides with the living and postal address for the woman). We do not do background checks, we are not a detective agency; we are MARRIAGE and INTRODUCTION agency. We offer services on e-mail forwarding, translation, gift delivery. We can only promise that the girls on site are not married - this information is given in girl's passport - if she has never been married there is no stamp in woman's Ukrainian passport, if she is divorced, there is a stamp about her marriage and divorce. We can't check "unofficial" relations of our women - boyfriends, lovers, etc., and if a girl is in relations and comes to us it means her relations are not serious. Women come to us because they want to get married, and consider a marriage agency to be a good chance to meet reliable man for love, romance, serious relations and marriage.
If the women using this site are poor and have no passport and they cannot travel why do you not have these details on their profile?
It is a common knowledge that economic conditions in Ukraine are inferior to Western and most European countries, and this is one of the reasons why so many women are searching for a husband in Europe and the West. If you are searching for a rich wife, you should not look among Ukrainian women. Many women from Ukraine have never been abroad, though it has become rather popular now to spend vacations in Turkey. Western and European men are looking for a true love here, for partner in life, and love doesn't divide people rich or poor. We would advise you to read about finding a Ukrainian wife in the Internet (there are a lot of articles on this topic). The most important is that bringing a wife from Ukraine is time/ effort/ emotions/ stress/ money consuming process. You must not kid yourself that it is simple, quick, cheap and easy. It's not.
Why do you use professional photographers for your website photo's?
Professional photos are made not only for professional models: Ukrainian women understand that the first impression you, foreign men, get about a woman is from the photos in her profile in our women?s catalog, and if the picture is of low quality you may not write the woman back. If a girl is serious she will go to the professional photographer and pay quite a sum of money and make professional photos where she looks good. Later on, while exchanging letters, the woman can send you her "amateur" photos, made by her friends (such amateur pictures are really of worse quality than professionally made ones, and after scanning and resizing the quality of amateur photos become even lower; that's why we do not advise Russian women to use their home-made photos for profiles on the web-site).
What are some scammer warning signs ?
These are only some indications that "may" mean you are being set-up for a scam. Taken by themselves they could be quite innocent, but they are some things you should watch out for:
- Photos look professional ! This doesn't mean that you should suspect every girl who has beautiful photos!
But if the photo appears to have been scanned from a magazine, or she has a whole series of "model" shots which are just too perfect, it's wise to be suspicious. Maybe she really is a model, it's not unheard of; but when combined with other warning signs, this one is usually a dead giveaway.
- Overly tender letters at the very beginning of your correspondence.
For example if she calls you "My Darling? or signs her first letters to you "with love". Many men do this too, by the way. It may mean nothing at all, but it certainly could be a prelude to predation.
- Vague letters with no or few questions about you.
She may write very loving letters about how much she needs you, misses and loves you, yet doesn't seem interested in you personally. A lady seriously considering marriage with you will obviously have many questions!
Your questions are never or rarely answered. However this is one warning sign that is sometimes misinterpreted. The lady may not know your language very well, and she may need time to fully translate your letter and her replies to your specific questions. So, depending on the lady's understanding of English (or whatever language you're corresponding in), she may need more time to respond directly to your questions.
- Her letters may seems like "form" letters, and if she is a scammer, they are form letters.
They're usually doled out in order - reply 1, reply 2, etc. Usually a new "model shot" taken "just for you" will be included. If she's working on many men at once (and scammers usually are), you may even receive letters addressed to someone else! Usually that's a good time to bail out !
Her letters may become progressively sexual, and her photos more seductive. This is a common theme throughout the varying scams.
- She's extremely beautiful and you're old enough to be her father.
Let's face facts: young beautiful girls don't have to settle for a man so much older and most won't want to. For many years this myth has been perpetuated by marriage agencies: that Russian, Ukrainian and Eastern European girls prefer much older men. Some do, sure, just like girls in every other country. But your chances of being scammed only increase with the age difference. I don't want to give the wrong impression about this, since my wife is 13 years younger than I am ;-) I think that is a reasonable age difference for some people. But we often see 60 year old men writing to 20 - 25 year old girls, and that's just asking for trouble.
Hint's about how expensive Internet cafes are. They really are expensive, by the way. But most Russian, Ukrainian and FSU ladies don't use Internet cafe's for their correspondence. The majority of girls will have Internet access at work, or through a friend. They may pay someone for this service, but if they claim it's costing them $50 - $100 per month, you need to be suspicious. My wife was fortunate enough to have a PC and Internet access at her home, and she made some extra money by helping her girlfriends place their profiles on dating sites, translating letters for them, etc. This is how we met, by the way ;-) It's a very common thing for women to help each other this way, and most girls will be able to find such an opportunity. And besides Internet cafes, there are business centers in almost every city where e-mail can be sent and received very inexpensively.
- A tragedy occurred and money is urgently needed.
This is the "springing of the trap" and usually will happen after she's worked on you for awhile. The sob-story could be almost anything - one of her parents is ill, or her child, and they could die unless an expensive operation is performed. Her money was lost or stolen, the rent is due and she could be evicted and wind up on the streets. She has a mean nasty boss that will fire her if she doesn't have sex with him, and she's a virgin saving herself for you, etc., etc. There are endless variations on this theme. Don't fall for it! Not unless you've met the girl and her family in person or otherwise know the story to be true. But if that was the case, you probably wouldn't be here reading this, would you? ;-)
- She wants to visit you in the Your country.
and needs money for the visa/tickets. It's a scam, no questions. Grab your wallet and run ;-) While it is possible for a women to obtain a tourist visa to visit the USA, it's very difficult, especially for a young lady. A certain income level must be met and there are other restrictions. While it's less trouble for a FSU lady to visit other countries besides the USA, this still remains one of the most common scams, so watch out!
Some scammers are becoming quite sophisticated, and they'll understand these warning signs and try to avoid giving them. However these scammers will not waste their time with you, once they understand that you're knowledgeable about the process of marrying a foreign bride. They'll wait for easier prey, especially for those men who seem to be new at this. For example if you write to girls offering to "bring them to your country" for a visit, your likely to be a target. The more clever scammers will never ask you for money themselves, they'll wait until you offer all by yourself. But still the "hints" about money will be there. They'll understand they need to ask you questions and reply to yours, and they will. But they won't keep up this game forever - don't offer to send them money, and all scammers will disappear eventually.
How Do I avoid being scammed ?
- Fortunately, this isn't so difficult. The easiest way to avoid being scammed is to simply never send a girl money, at least not until you've met her in person. At the very least not until you've corresponded with her for several months, have spoken often by phone and gotten to know each other very well. But it should never really be necessary to send a girl money until you have met each other in person at least once.
- Better not to even bring up the subject of money yourself. Once you open the door by offering to send her money you shouldn't be surprised if the girl accepts your offer. And if she inflates the cost of her expenses she may not be a scammer at all, but is only taking advantage of an opportunity that you presented her with. Let's not forget that life is hard and money scarce for some women.
- Don't stress or brag about your wealth in your letters. Especially if you're an older gentleman and are writing to mainly younger girls, you're only trolling for scammers by doing this. Better to write about your interests, your hobbies, and your dreams for the future. Don't try to tempt girls by describing your summer home, your luxury cars and expensive toys. Do you really want a girl to be attracted to you for your wealth? If so, you're only asking for trouble.
- Demonstrate in your first and subsequent letters that you're serious, that you understand what's involved in marrying a foreign bride. Let her know up front that you plan to visit her in her city in the very near future if there is mutual interest. This will frighten off many potential scammers. Use proper punctuation and good grammar, type in complete sentences and check your spelling. Paying attention to detail in your own letters will make you a less vulnerable target, and at the same time sharpen your awareness and make you more appealing to the vast majority of honest ladies out there!
- It is a myth perpetuated by marriage agencies that Russian women prefer to marry older men. The fact is that Russian women are individuals, and just like girls in any other country some will prefer older men, but most would prefer to marry someone closer to her own age. If you are an older gentleman and are corresponding with younger girls, your chances of being scammed increase substantially. And if the girl looks like a model, your chances of being scammed are greater still. It's really just common sense.
- If a girl asks you to help pay for her correspondence expenses, you can easily and safely test her sincerity by offering to pay for mail forwarding yourself. This would not involve sending any money to her personally. If she's an honest girl who's sincerely interested in you, she will accept this offer gladly. If not, she will disappear and you'll not have wasted either your time or money.
- When you're serious about a girl and plan on meeting her, you'll certainly want to call her by phone. Scammers don't usually like this, and you'll frighten "most" of them away by calling several times. If you need to use the services of a translator, hire a third party to do it. She may not want to give you her phone number at once, but if she refuses to give it to you after a reasonable length of correspondence, you should be suspicious. Obviously if you're never able to talk to her by phone at all, something is very wrong.
- Educate yourself learn what's really involved in bringing a foreign bride to your country. Everyone should do this before begin a serious correspondence. Familiarize yourself with the warning signs,
There are many reasons to list Scam Scenarios. We are listing them to make you aware of this problem on the Internet.
We would however, like to make it clear to you that we at Abridefromodessa do check out all our ladies first, to insure they are truly seeking a genuine relationship with a view towards marriage. As we are a business and it does cost us money to provide this service to you. This insures that the correspondence you receive through our agency is genuine!! If you feel that at anytime you are being exploiting by one of our ladies. Please inform us right away with your concerns and we will take further steps to insure your protection. Also, as you are probably aware there are unscrupulous men whose only purpose is to exploit innocence Ukrainian ladies with a view to placing them into the sex industry. In order to protect our ladies from this elicit trade we do not give out our ladies addresses and contact information. Unless she approves us to do so.
Warning Signs: "A Profile of a Scammer"
Encountering one or two of these Warning Signs in your own relations should make you pause but remember there is no reason for paranoia! If, however, many of these are present, step back and profile your correspondent because she could be a scammer!
- She asks for money for Internet costs.
Now this can be a legitimate request as access to the Net is not free and easy as it may be for you. Whether you should consider this a Warning Sign depends on the particular circumstances including how she has access to the Internet. If she is using "a friend's computer" or her own then her costs should be minimal. (Incidentally, if she has her own computer and internet access from home she is either relatively well-off or this is her job.) On the other hand if she is using an Internet cafe or an Agency then you can expect to be asked to reimburse her for her expenses. In the Author's opinion, mentioning costs of translation agencies or Internet cafes right away is more to the girl's credit than after the third letter or posing the situation as a sudden turn of events. Many agencies state in the beginning that you may exchange a couple of letters and then charges will start to apply. Look for other Warning Signs.
- Visa Scenario
In this scenario the scammer will often forgo the need for the petty cash of internet costs. Often they will claim to have Internet access through work or through a friend. Their letters are usually VERY PERSONALIZED and the illusion that a real relationship is forming is STRONG. After a while (this "waiting period" varies greatly, some wait only a few emails, others will continue correspondence for months) the chance for a visa to visit you arises and a relatively large sum is required. The scammer needs the money right away and is in a hurry to see you for one reason or another. Once money has been transferred the scammer disappears entirely or makes some excuse. Both way the scam is completed and the next mark is located. The key to avoiding this scam is to simply learn the RULES for obtaining a visa to visit or especially immigrate to your country.
- Travel Scenario
This scenario is similar to the Visa Scenario and sometimes run at the same time. Essentially the scammer wants you to send money for the travel costs for her to "come to you." Often when running the Travel Scenario scam, the scammer will claim to have a connection such as a relative that works in a travel agency or who is a pilot or of some special tour that is suddenly available at great prices .Be especially careful if your country (or the country in which they want to rendezvous) is one that they do not need a visa or to obtain one is relatively easy to do. To visit the United States is difficult for persons from the CIS countries so you should be able to easily spot this scenario once you learn the rules pertaining to travel from HER country to YOUR country. Learn them.
- Illness Scenario
The scenario begins with the high intensity communication and personalization of the Visa Scenario but instead of the "visa request" someone gets ill and is in need of hospitalization, an operation, medicine, etc. Once the money is transferred the scammer is gone.
- Accident Scenario
Just like the Illness Scenario only a mother or other relative is in an "accident" and in need.
- Mirage Scenario
Usually run by Dating Agencies and Singles sites scammers or organizations this scenario works on quantity not quality. Basically, the person you are corresponding with does not exist as they are portrayed. Up front money is asked for the girl's info or her internet costs, etc. and once it is transferred nothing further is heard from the scammer. The transferee never gets what they have paid for or is provided bogus information entirely.
- High-Roller Scenario
This situation applies during an actual VISIT to your correspondent. In this situation, the scammer extracts money from you in various ways and money is often paid out for services and accommodations that she has arranged (often to relatives). This is a scam because the prices being paid are far higher than if you had arranged everything yourself. As part of this scam, she may require money from you for expensive gifts, dinners and so forth.
Note: Most sincere Russian and Ukrainian women are almost embarrassed to let you spend money on them in a first meeting or early in the relationship. Most cities have good public transportation and most ladies will prefer to not make you spend your money on expensive taxis, etc. in these situations
- Deep Marriage Scenario
Fortunately this is not truly a "common" situation. But this situation is the most emotionally devastating to the victim. The general circumstances involve a person who is willing to go so far as to actually become engaged and perhaps even married. The goal all the while is only to obtain as much money as possible from the victim before either leaving him immediately prior to marriage or even after marriage if the nuptials have occurred. Factors, such as proven identity fabrications, multiple and continued personals listings, surreptitious relationships, and other considerations help determine that this situation is a true scam and not just an extreme case of Sour Grapes Because of the difficulty of this latter analysis, only reports including significant proof of these factors will serve as a basis for a Scam Alert.
- "Agency Exploitation"
This category will be included when the evidence leans toward the conclusion that the AGENCY is exploiting the identified client (person profiled).
Such exploitation can occur in many ways. For example in many instances it is the AGENCY/owner/manager that is actually conducting the correspondence unbeknownst to the "client." Often they receive the money that is sent for the client's benefit and do not even inform the client or they are simply taking a huge cut of the money unfairly. Another method of scamming is that persons have set up false identities by paying a small sum to models or local girls for their photos and then conducting business as though they are real persons seeking marriage, etc. Likewise the identities of former clients who have gotten engaged or married or merely left a particular Agency and gone to another, more reputable Agency, have continued to be used by the former Agency. These are just some examples of this frequent activity. The "Agency Exploitation" designation will be used to essentially state that the person profiled may in fact be innocent. (This designation will not be used when the evidence suggests that she/he is in collusion with the Agency or an active participant.)
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