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Romance Scam

Please report romance scams and dating scams here. We accept reports on Russian scammers and Nigerian scammers.

Disclaimer regarding pictures posted on the board: please understand that you are NOT looking at the pictures of people who are actually scamming you. The people portrayed on these photos are innocent men and women, NOT involved in scamming in any way and have nothing to do with scammers. The scammers are using their images without their knowledge or permission to deceive their victims and steal their money.

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"Dear Elena, Can you recommend an honest agency?"

Scam-related reviews of the dating and social networking sites. Only people with a 10+ postcount can post in this section.
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"Dear Elena, Can you recommend an honest agency?"

Postby Elena » Thu Jan 11, 2007 4:22 am

I receive the questions "Do you know any honest agency" or "Where do I find a real Russian woman that wouldn't scam me" at least 5 times each day. Let me post my suggestions here, so everyone can view them:

Most of the time, which agency you go through does not matter. What matters is how much you know about scams. You will find both real ladies and scammers almost everywhere. Forget about relying on dating sites to weed the scammers out. It is your responsibility to educate yourself about all types of scams and to recognize a scammer trying to make money off you.

Here is my suggested plan of action:
1. Read all you can about Russian and also Nigerian dating scams. Know all types of scammers (yes, there is more than one). Find out the most common scam tricks. Become an active member of at least 1 anti-scam forum and at least 1 forum where married Russian-American or Russian-[insert your nationality here] couples discuss post-marriage and immigration issues. Be familiar with all major black lists. Instead of just browsing through their pictures, read the actual scam reports and make observations about scammers' ways to ask for money (allow yourself at least 1 full week for your scam-education phase).
2. Once you are sick of reading scam reports, start writing to ladies. Start by searching online for negative reports about largest agencies in the market (by then you will know them all by name) and get to know their dirty tricks.
4. Decide (based on those reports) which one of them is the least of all evils.
4. Browse their database, and decide on 10-15 girls who do not look familiar (if they look familiar, you might have seen them on the black lists). And remember, the cutest girls get the most letters from other guys. Write introductory letters to the girls you like, and hopefully a few will respond.
5. Start correspondence and tell them that it is going to be several months before you meet, and that YOU will travel to their hometown to meet for the first time. No inviting them over to your country or on "vacations" to other countries!
6. Find out their full names as soon as you can and try to verify their information through my agency or any other agency that you think looks trustworthy (google them first to see if there are any negative reports about them). Also you can use flower delivery agencies (that are not associated with any dating sites) to send flowers and ask for pictures of the recipient.
7. Watch for warning signs. If the relationship start to remind you a scam - back out or get confirmation of girl's stories somehow. Do not write off the red flags on "cultural differences". When in doubt - ask people from the forums that you are active on (and actually listen to their suggestions). Do not get too involved with "troubled" girls (the ones with too many secrets and strange things going on). Try to narrow your choice down to 1-2 ladies. Then start planning your first visit. Do not lie to ladies about them being "the only one" if it is not true. If you expect them to be honest with you - be honest with them.
8. When you are ready to visit, arrange your accommodations through a third party (do not use companies that the girl or the agency suggest). Do your due diligence research before committing to any travel or accomodation service.
9. Take it from there.

If you:
- Do not have money to travel to Russia within the next year or so
- Do not have time to travel to Russia
- Think my suggestions are too much work for you...

Then I do not know what to tell you.

My suggestions are only suggestions. I am sure there are other ways to go, but it is the one that I recommend.

Good luck!

P.S. To start your scam education, I woul suggest that you read our Dating Scam 101 article if you have not done it already ... o_know.htm
and expand from there. Do not stop there. Laziness is a dangerous thing when it comes to your online safety and your money.

"Dear Elena, Can you recommend an honest agency?"


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How I found my Ukrainian bride.

Postby Harrylong » Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:25 pm

The safest way to ensure that you aren't going to be scammed is to be brought together by a close friend or a family member of the bride. You will also need to go over there and meet them and spend about a month at a time with them. You may find Russian churches in almost every large city in the US. Sacramento, California has the largest population of Slavic people in the country. There are about 100,000+ living in the area and there are about 30 medium to large Christian churches there.

Just being involved in a Christian church doesn't guarantee that every woman is honest and forthright. In this way you will need to hone a strong and trusting relationship with the Russian people. I have found that Russian people to be very suspicious of Americans and very difficult to assimilate into their "clicks". Once you have proved your trustworthiness though, you are considered as part of their family.

I have been involved in the Russian community for over 10 years. I know much about their culture and mannerisms. I know when to trust them and when not to trust them. Many have a saying, "take all you can now for tomorrow it won't be here". They are masters at business networking and obtaining what they need. They quickly learn the system and use it well. These are people that lived under such oppression that we can't even fathom, so they know how to do everything with nothing.

If you don't live near a Russian community then I suggest trying Elena's Models. At least Elena won't rip you off.

A list of cities that have a large Russian population:

New York
St. Paul
San Francisco

I found my bride of 8 years through her cousin that worked for me. I wrote to her for a year, e-mailed her, sent photos and called her by phone every week. I visited her in Chernivtsi Ukraine for a month and we got married. She is a great gal and is intelligent and loyal. She has a Master's degree in education and forieg languages. She speaks Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, Slovakian, Czech and English. I am grateful to have her. None of the American women that I know can even hold a candle to her. Good luck in your endeavors!!!!

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Answer to the question?

Postby Cal » Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:12 pm

So, why didn't you just provide the list of known reputable agencies?

You could save us a lot of time if you did.


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Postby wayne » Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:39 am

If we started recommending agencies, then if something goes wrong and a person is scammed, we could be held liable. What we do now is simply allow people to post up their experiences of various agencies to allow others to make their own decisions.

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Postby Cal » Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:56 am

A sticky where members can post their own recommendation would meet the same objective, and it would be in one place. Thus, save search time.

They can even qualify their post from their experience.

Just my plug nickel. :wink:


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Postby wayne » Sun Mar 09, 2008 1:34 am

So what if one person says "Site XXXX is great", then a dozen posts down, someone else says "Site XXXX is now full of scammers"? That information would be lost in the jumble. It's not like there's pages and pages of threads about agencies to sift through. The agencies section only takes up one page.

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Postby nitetime » Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:51 pm

So what if one person says "Site XXXX is great", then a dozen posts down, someone else says "Site XXXX is now full of scammers"? That information would be lost in the jumble. It's not like there's pages and pages of threads about agencies to sift through. The agencies section only takes up one page.
What about a success post?

I met so and so through so and so agency and it worked for me...your mileage may vary

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Re: "Dear Elena, Can you recommend an honest agency?"

Postby truthseeker » Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:24 pm

Hello Gentlemen and lady (are there more in here?),
I have had several ladies try to scam me, so I stayed away from indiviuals.
I decided to use an agency... I tried anastasia but it was too rich for my wallet.
I investigated several and settled on nastashclub. I was happy with everything till the other day.
I got a very interesting email from someone who claimed to be on of the translators on the site.
They told me that all the pictures of ladies were just pictures, and the ones answering the letters were the "translators", not the girls themselves.
Has anyone ever heard of this?
I asked why she would warn me, and she said it was because she respected my letters and views...she did not want me to get hurt.
I'm of the opinion that she decided I was not playing games and she liked what I wrote and she is trying to steal me herself.
I have a very good relationship with someone, that I have told I would not be aable to arrive in Ukraine for a year... and they (she) said she did not mind waiting, it was shortly after we had declared that we would wait for each other that I got this letter from the "translator".

Has anyone ever heard of something like this? Does a website operate a huge scam like this?
They do have pictures of less than perfect women on their site.
I'm confused about who I should believe, and the "translator" has said that if I ask the lady I care about this that she will lie to protect the agency...


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Re: "Dear Elena, Can you recommend an honest agency?"

Postby wayne » Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:18 am

If you read the pro daters section, then you'll see that it's a pretty common scenario.

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